A London-based telecommunications group, Energis, is threatening to sue a Swiss firm for selling its shares in the group. Energis said the sale of its stock by Switzerland's Distefora breached a previous agreement between the two firms.
"Clearly some shares have been sold and some were subject to the lockup agreement," said a spokeswoman for Energis. "We are currently seeking clarification and legal advice."
Distefora's chief executive, Alexander Falk, confirmed to swissinfo that the firm had sold off a certain number of Energis shares, but denied that the sale was in breach of an agreement.
"We received "oral approval" from Energis to sell the shares, following a gentleman's agreement between the two boards in February, which allowed Distefora to dispose of some of its Energis stock," explained Falk.
Falk told swissinfo that he did not expect any liabilities or risks as a result of the sale, and that he was surprised by Energis' reaction.
For its part, Energis said Distefora had agreed not to sell any of its shares before December 2001, and denied that it had consented to any sale.
Energis said recently that it had been notified of the sale of several parcels of its shares, which the Swiss group had acquired through the sale of its e-commerce services firm, Ision, to Energis last December.
Shares in Energis dropped by around 14 per cent at one point on the London stock exchange on Wednesday.
Distefora, founded in 1970, is a holding for companies engaged in information and communication services. This includes Internet services, mobile information, navigation and cable networks.
Previously known as Interdiscount Holding, Distefora has been undergoing extensive restructuring since 1995 and has disposed of all of its former operations.
swissinfo with agencies