LOS ANGELES—In what will probably be a penultimate event in the outcome of the years-long conflict between the upper management of Private Media Group and a group of creditors and disgruntled former CEOs of the company, a shareholder meeting is taking place in Las Vegas, Nev., today to decide the makeup of the next board of directors for the Barcelona-based company.
Unless something unforeseen occurs, the outcome of the vote will likely result in a new board that puts the final nails in the coffin of Berth Milton’s rule at Private. Milton was indefinitely suspended from the company in December by Eric Johnson, a receiver appointed by Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to run Private while the case she has been overseeing, Consipio v. Private, was under way. On the same day that Johnson suspended Milton, he also terminated Private’s longtime chief financial officer, Johan Gillborg.
Once the new board is approved by the court, a new chief executive can be elected and the receiver dismissed from his duties by the court. At that point, it is possible that the Consipio case will unwind promptly and that the pending Nevada Supreme Court cases will also vanish from the docket as the cases are setlled by parties that are no longer in conflict with one another.
Two Consipio-related cases remain on the Nevada Supreme Court docket that were supposed to have been expedited by the court but were not. The court also said it would combine the remaining Consipio cases and rule on all of them expeditiously, and has thus far failed to complete that task.
That being said, the Clark County wheels of justice continue to turn and this seemingly interminable lawsuit, which at the end of the day was always going to determine the future management of Private Media Group, appears to be finally coming to an end. Consipio Holdings will at long last be able to vote the elusive 5.6 million shares of Private common stock that it has been trying to gain possession of since before this case was even filed, and whoever winds up running the company will presumably be out from under the scrutiny of the court, free to determine the future of this iconic European brand.
In related Private news, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release on January 5 outlining the final process for Private’s delisting from NASDAQ.
“The NASDAQ Stock Market announced today that it will delist the common stock of Private Media Group, Inc.,” the press release stated. "Private Media Group, Inc.’s stock was suspended on November 15, 2011 and has not traded on NASDAQ since that time. NASDAQ will file a Form 25 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to complete the delisting ten days after the Form 25 is filed.”