Gaydamak Fires Back at Roni Maneh After Failed Tiv Taam Deal

The dispute between billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak and businessman Roni Maneh has been ratcheted up a notch. Gaydamak has filed a complaint with the police, attributing various offenses to Maneh, including threats, extortion and attempted fraud after the Russian-Israeli magnate failed in his attempt to buy supermarket chain Tiv Taam.

Attorney Ronel Fisher, Gaydamak's legal representative in the case, brought a letter of complaint to the commander of the Yarkon District Police in Tel Aviv on Monday. In the letter, Gaydamak calls Maneh "the suspect" and claims that he tried to defraud and swindle him.

Maneh, meanwhile, claims that Gaydamak conducted negotiations with a lack of good faith and violated every compromise offer proposed.

Gaydamak contends that when he found out that certain figures were false and misleading, he canceled the acquisition. He says Maneh had him meet with a group of Tiv Taam owners who were presented to him as holding a majority stake in the firm. Later, Gaydamak says, he discovered that this was a misrepresentation, and that he could not buy a controlling stake in the company from them.

Gaydamak also says that Maneh conditioned the convening of the decisive meeting on the deal on paying a brokerage a $10 million commission from the cash reserves of the company that would later become Gaydamak's. Under such terms, the letter claims, Gaydamak refused to sign the deal.

Since then, Gaydamak says, Maneh has been threatening him with further attempts at extortion. Gaydamak claims that Maneh's attempts to obtain the brokerage commission included appeals to the attorney general, the head of the Police Investigations Unit and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Gaydamak says that Maneh threatened to hurt his good name by taking up the issue in the press, all to extract money from Gaydamak that Maneh did not deserve.

In paragraph 10 of the letter, Fisher writes, "We hereby request to maintain the discretion of the filing of this complaint and not to relay this information to the press or any other agency." Despite this, news of the filing of the complaint has been published on all the online news sites.

Last week Maneh sent Gaydamak a demand for the payment of over $6 million for brokerage services he provided to Gaydamak. Maneh claims, via Attorney Yossi Segev, that Gaydamak never paid him the fees he was promised.

According to Maneh, he had agreed to a substantial reduction in the sum owed to him, in exchange for immediate payment. Maneh says that Gaydamak conducted negotiations with a lack of good faith and violated every compromise offer that he himself suggested. Maneh says he suffered considerable damages when Gaydamak withdrew from the Tiv Taam deal, such that the sellers did not pay Maneh a brokerage commission. Maneh is demanding $250,000 from Gaydamak for the Har Homa real estate deal, $5 million for the Ocif Investment & Development deal, $500,000 for the Gilon Investments deal and $1 million for the Tiv Taam deal.

"We have not received any notice about a police complaint," Maneh said. "This is a complaint intended for the press and is part of Gaydamak's attempts to deter me from filing the suit I have announced. Ever since that letter was sent we have been exposed to the worrisome and frightening phenomenon of telephone threats warning against the commencement of any legal proceedings. Those acts will not deter us from filing a suit and having our day in court. The very filing of the complaint and the fact that it was sent to the media constitutes an illegal act and is also slanderous."