Team countersues FFP

Distribber seeks damages for fraud

HOLLYWOOD — In a countersuit filed Friday, Team Communications is, in turn, taking German TV outfit FFP Entertainment to court for fraud and breach of contract.

FFP fired the first volley in the teutonic tiff last week in Los Angeles federal court. Team responded in the same court with its complaint, calling FFP’s action “completely without merit.”

Team and FFP had sought to form Team FFP, a 50-50 joint production venture to develop TV movies and formats.

As part of the deal, FFP alleges, Team was to provide the German partner with 800,000 company shares; but Team claims FFP failed to meet basic financial and business requirements that would have permitted the partnership to be sealed.

Team chairman Drew Levin characterized the suit by privately held FFP as “a smokescreen to hide the real facts.”

“FFP grossly misstated their financial condition, which included, among other things, sizable historical losses, mounting debt and no tangible film library.” The Team suit also names FFP principals Datty Ruth and Michael Smeaton.

The publicly traded Team, quoted on both the Nasdaq and Germany’s Neuer Markt, recently reported record revenues and earnings for the quarter ending June 30.

Team claims FFP’s legal action is baseless, because FFP allegedly failed to meet several important conditions required to finalize the joint venture despite Team management’s continued requests for compliance with the agreement.

For one thing, FFP allegedly never delivered an operating budget or a list of its assets satisfactory to Team’s board of directors. Team instructed its lawyers to seek, among other things, the overturn of any agreements with FFP and/or damages for fraud and breach of contract.

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