Timminco Limited’s (TSX: TIM C$32.90) lawsuit has served to put into the public record opposing statements. The articles available below refer to claims that Timminco is “virtually worthless” and that “there is no evidence that they have any sort of proprietary technology.” They also draw attention to the claim that Timminco’s opponents suggested that it has “defrauded members of the public.” According to one of the articles Timminco is claiming its opponent’s “comments ‘meant or were understood to mean’ that ‘Timminco conducts business in the same way as did Bre-X’ and that ‘Timminco’s patent applications amount to sham.”
Timminco’s lawsuit also created more criticism of the company and its policies. In the attached coverage Timminco was called “secretive” and “awfully defensive.” One observer noted that “my feeling is that if you’re a highly speculative company with a speculative technology, it would seem to me that you don’t have a whole lot to complain about if some people think that what you do won’t work.” A reporter noted that the “company might be under pressure.”
The information that Timminco is attempting to squelch has been obtained and disseminated by independent parties. This information has benefited investors and investigative reporters. Among the topics now being openly debated are the fairness of Timminco’s stock value, its irregular insider dealings and Eric Sprott’s role in its stock promotion. As a result Timminco’s corporate conduct and governance has been questioned and criticized. This includes Timminco’s use of paid-for third party promoters and its pairing of outlandish unproven claims with a refusal to provide independent verifiable information. Now Timminco has elected to sue one of those willing to provide an opposing point of view. This raises more questions about Timminco’s value.
Investors have every right to question a public company promoting itself to the public. Investors should also view with caution public companies that use any legal system to attempt to silence their critics.
Greentechmedia – Timminco Sues For Libel by Jennifer Kho.
The Globe and Mail – Timminco sues fund manager by Andy Hoffman.
The Globe and Mail – Market Blog: Where are Timminco’s damages? by David Berman.
Wellington Financial Blog – Some advice for Ravi Sood by Mark R. McQueen.