New Complaint Filed After Touch of Italy Founder Wins Auction - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Complaint Filed After Touch of Italy Founder Buys Back Company in Auction

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 10:01 PM Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Touch of Italy's ownership may be up for debate again.

Days after founder Bob Ciprietti was the highest bidder for the restaurant chain, one of the original plaintiffs filed an amended complaint questioning the bidding process. 

A lawyer for plaintiff Delmarva Tennis Packages LLC provided WBOC with a copy of the amended complaint. The document alleges that Ciprietti "locked up the leases (thereby breaching his fiduciary duty of loyalty by acting as competitor, rather than a teammate of, the minority shareholders)." It also claims the Chief Restructuring Officer "initiated and oversaw a rushed, flawed and tainted bidding process."

Ciprietti tells WBOC he could not comment on the allegations due to pending litigation, but affirmed the bidding process was fair.

"I participated just like any other bidder would have participated," he explains. "There was a CRO--an independent chief restructuring officer--and he had criteria. We followed the criteria and we just happened to be the winning bid."

The newly filed amended complaint asks the Chancery Court to expedite an evidentiary hearing to review the fairness of the auction. The complaint states that the plaintiff is moving quickly in order for the Court to have time to "consider the feasibility of rescission" -- in this case, the cancellation of the winning bid. Ciprietti says the new complaint will not stop Touch of Italy's operations.

"It's business as usual for me for the first time in a long time," he says. "It was business as usual for [my employees] all along and now we are looking forward to really running the business again."

Ciprietti says he is moving forward on expanding Touch of Italy. For one, he says he is filing building permits for the long awaited Milford expansion this week.

The entire amended complaint, read the PDF below. 

 

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