Spruce Media, one of facebook's biggest ad buyers, has been sued by a former partner of founder Rob Jewell who claims he is owed money from equity sales in a company that preceded Spruce. (Download a copy of the complaint here.)
Jewell tells us the claims are baseless.
The allegations, by Peter Martin, stem back to 2006 and are somewhat complicated. In a nutshell, Martin alleges he and Jewell owned 50% each of company called Gratis Internet, which in 2008 had $25 million in revenues.
In 2006, Martin alleges he sold his stake to Jewell in a stock repurchase agreement that would be executed in the ensuing years as profitability grew. However, he claims, Jewell used the assets of Gratis to create two new companies, Social Cash and then Spruce Media, instead.
As Gratis whithered it left the stock agreement valueless, Martin claims.
Jewell tells us:
Peter Martin's claims are baseless. Several years ago, he and I agreed to shut down the company we both founded and to go our separate ways. Mr. Martin is now demanding a stake in Spruce Media, which he had no hand in building. Mr. Martin's only connection is that he was offered the opportunity to become an early investor in Spruce but declined. We have already moved to dismiss all of Mr. Martin's claims, and we intend to vigorously fight his attempt to take something to which he has no right.
Spruce's clients include Procter & Gamble, Samsung and University of Phoenix.
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