Suspected corporate killing. Shareholder dispute. Mismanagement. Suspicious death. Crisis management.

Client. Manufacturer of animal health products merged with a smaller manufacturer of vaccines for cattle.

Problem. CEO of the group was killed in a small plane crash when going to meet the minority partner and former owner of the vaccine manufacturer to discuss the latter’s contingent liabilities not disclosed during the merger negotiations. Under the merger agreement, the minority shareholder renounced management responsibility in the merged group to the majority shareholder. The only way he could re-assume a  management role was if the CEO died. Following the crash, the minority partner attempted to wrest control of the company from the deceased’s heirs. The shareholders dispute was deadlocked in the courts.

Solution. Wolfe Associates’ investigation revealed circumstantial evidence that the plane crash in which the CEO and pilot were killed, may have been caused by sabotage. The that the person who would benefit most from the CEO’s death was the former owner of the vaccine manufacturer to whom could be attributed motive. The State Prosecutor who was leading the accident enquiry was persuaded to keep the case open while the Wolfe Associates concluded its investigation. Faced with a possible murder accusation, the former owner agreed to a negotiated settlement.

The names of those involved have been withheld for reasons of confidentiality.

Is your company a party to a shareholder dispute? Is there a suspicious death? Are your company or its executives victims of extortion or blackmail? Does your company or your family find itself embroiled in a situation to which there is no conventional solution? Wolfe Associates specialises in managing special situations.