Legal

Deals.com.au pays $2 million to employee in legal dispute: “We could f—k you over if we wanted”

Cara Waters /

The founders of Deals.com.au, owned by AussieCommerce have settled a legal dispute with a former employee who accused founders Adam Schwab and Jeremy Same of misleading and deceptive conduct in a partial sale of the business in 2013.

AussieCommerce has agreed to pay its former national sales manager, Adam Glezer, $1.96 million to settle the proceedings he filed in October last year.

The settlement offer was formalised on Thursday at the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The proceedings centred on a claim by Glezer that he was misled when he agreed to sell his 19.8% stake in Deals.com.au to Schwab and Same for $282,000.

Glezer claimed the true value of his stake was about $40 million and sought this or the return of his shares in the company.

He also initially claimed Schwab and Same said they would “f—k him over” and “bleed him dry”.

Schwab and Same denied this claim and documents tendered in evidence by Glezer to the court and provided to SmartCompany show Schwab actually said “we could f—ck you if we wanted but we want to find a fair way to get everything sorted”.

AussieCommerce was a finalist in SmartCompany’s Smart50 last year recording annual turnover of  $138 million.

Schwab told SmartCompany he is happy with the settlement.

“While we were confident of being successful at trial, given the legal costs

and distraction from running the business, it made more sense to settle the

matter at this time,” he says.

With the litigation settled there is now no barrier to AussieCommerce proceeding with an initial public offering.

Last year the online business appointed Macquarie Capital to help it prepare for an IPO with a proposed valuation of $200 million.

However, Schwab told SmartCompany an IPO was not confirmed and if it was, the legal dispute was never going to stop it.

“We are considering an IPO as we are considering all other options,” he says. 

“It comes down to how we perform and how the market performs, we are not that desperate either way.”   

Glezer declined to comment to SmartCompany but his lawyer, Jarrod McPherson of Sackville Wilks, confirmed Glezer would receive $1.96 million in addition to the $282,400 previously paid and any costs ordered.

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Cara Waters

Cara Waters is the former editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter at the Financial Times website FT Adviser in London and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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