Growthworks and Walsingham Sued for $29 Million

A group of 37 common shareholders of the company AGTL, are suing the venture capital funds Growthworks Canadian Fund Fund, Walsingham Fund, investment holding company Englefield House no. 4 Inc, along with certain individuals who were directors of the company.

The claim shown below was filed in April 2012, and outlines the plaintiff’s case:

Growthworks Canadian Fund is part of the Growthworks venture capital group.  Growthworks, along with Halifax based Seamark, are part of Matrix Asset Management Inc., which was formed when Growthworks took over Seamark several years ago. You can read more about them on their website http://www.matrixasset.ca/.  Both Seamark and Growthworks have been the subject of much media attention in recent years.  For example, those who hold a subscription can go to allnovascotia.com and search on  Seamark, Matrix, and Growthworks to see the goings-on of late.

Walsingham Fund (now called Walsingham Partners, website http://www.walsinghampartners.com/ ) is a private fund controlled by its principal, Richard Black.  Tim Hortons cofounder Ron Joyce was deeply involved with Walsingham when the fund invested in AGTL, but Mr. Joyce seems to have parted ways with Walsingham sometime in the past several years.  Walsingham is named after a historical character in Elizabeth I’s court, Sir Francis Walsingham.  If you google that name, you can find a wealth of information on this interesting person, for example, http://www.historynet.com/francis-walsingham-elizabethan-spymaster.htm.

The individuals named in the action include:

  • Richard Black, principal of Walsingham,
  • Scott Pelton,  a former employee of Growthworks, who is now with Round 13 Capital.  Scott is on the boards of directors of companies SWIX Inc. and Verold Inc.
  • Alisha Hirsch, formerly employed by Walsingham, now believed to be in the UK; and
  • Tom Saunders, John Gardner, and Vince Mifsud are directors who had business connections with Walsingham Fund.
Status  This matter was originally filed in 2008 as an application, and so far, only a series of procedural motions have occurred so far, and discoveries have not yet begun.  At five years of age (as of the date of this post)  this matter has not yet taken anywhere near as long as the famous Knowledgehouse case.  I expect that you may see a serious of posts chronicling the interesting procedural path that this matter has taken.

 

 

 

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