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Eveready ruling keeps away rivals

Thursday May 24 2018

The High Court has retained orders that barred three firms from dealing in Eveready #ticker:EVRD and Energizer batteries in East Africa.

The orders by Justice Said Chitembwe in Malindi stop Energizer International Inc, Energizer Middle East and Africa Ltd, and Eveready Battery Company USA from selling their brands within the territory of troubled Eveready East Africa.

Mr Chitembwe dismissed an application that sought to set aside his orders issued on March 7 last year.

The judge, who declined to transfer the case to Nairobi where another matter filed by a different person is pending in court, also directed Mr Daniel Kimotho — an Eveready East Africa shareholder — to proceed and argue his case against Energizer International Inc and Eveready Battery Company USA.

Mr Kimotho had said that he discovered that Eveready and Energizer batteries supplied in the region were products of the external companies. Mr Kimotho moved to Malindi High Court last year seeking to stop the external firms from distributing their products in the region.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Mr Kimotho had said the case was filed as a derivative suit. This is a lawsuit instituted by a shareholder on behalf of a corporation against a third party. Often, the third party is an insidern, such as an executive officer or director.

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“The suit is, therefore, for the benefit of a company. Eveready EA Limited filed the Nairobi suit seeking orders for injunction. The suit also seeks similar orders. The two suits cannot be allowed to run parallel,” said the judge.

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