POD's John Reynolds has settled a case against Electric Public operators Festival Republic Dublin stemming from a power struggle which at one point looked to threaten to the future of Ireland's most popular music festival.
Mr Reynolds, who was among the founders the 'boutique' music festival in 2004, sold a majority stake of 71% in the festival to Festival Republic Dublin (FRD) in 2009 for €4.2m to assist in the festival's operational costs but contended that he was being excluded from a number of issues related to festival planning, such as having a say in the bands that were being asked to perform.
The case had been scheduled for an eight day hearing commencing at the Commercial Court today but Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told that the full action had been settled. He adjourned the case to June 10th, by which point the settlement is expected to be fully implemented and the case will be struck out.
Mr Reynolds cited a breach of a 2009 shareholders agreement and "oppression of his interests" which were causing hardship to POD music. He claimed that Melvin Benn of FRD made decisions in relation to the 2012 and 2013 festivals which damaged POD music, who are themselves 100% shareholders of EP Republic Ltd., but were of financial benefit to the FRD group.
Mr Reynolds also claimed that he was being kept in the dark on discounting of Electric Picnic tickets and his interests suffered as a result, estimating that a figure of €450,000 was discounted between 2009 and 2013 which he contended has an negative impact on the value of his shareholding.
Meanwhile, FRD alleged that Mr Reynolds had been deliberately obstructing the organisation of the music festival and was seeking to have his shares bought out at "grossly inflated prices".
FRD also denied that Mr Reynolds was excluded from festival management issues and Mr Been suggested that Mr Reynolds had offered a very one-sided slant on the festival's operation both pre and post 2009. He added that there was no evidence that POD had been oppressed and that when FRD bought into the festival in 2009, the festival was a loss-making entity.
A statement issued by Electric Picnic today read as follows:
EP Festivals is pleased to report that an agreement has been reached between POD Music and Festival Republic Dublin regarding Electric Picnic. As part of the agreement, POD Music, a co-shareholder in Electric Picnic, has agreed to divest its stake to Festival Republic Dublin. Festival Republic Dublin would like to thank John Reynolds, director of POD Music, for his contribution to the successful development of Electric Picnic and wish him well for the future. Electric Picnic looks forward to welcoming its fans for this year's event on 29th August 2014 for three days with Portishead, Outcast, Beck, Foals, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Lily Allen, Blondie, Simple Minds, Sinead O'Connor, Mogwai, James Murphy and many more.......
Source: Independent | Photo: Dara Munnis