C2 Capital sues Australian Financial Review (AFR) for Defamation

A statement from CEO Peter Terrill, C2 Capital
In response to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) article 23/5/2019

C2 Capital and myself are the victims of a defamatory article published in the AFR on 23/5/2019.

This is of great concern to C2 Capital and causes significant damage to our brand reputation as a business leader and growing entity in the marketplace.

This defamatory article is inaccurate and misrepresentative of the real situation involving the dismissal of an employee.

The article was published in the Australian Financial Review both in their paper publication on page 3 and online with the heading;

“Investment firm facing claims of ‘fraudulent’ conduct”

On the 20th of February C2 Capital made the Head of Institutional Investment role redundant in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), a role held by Jason Mistry for approximately six months.

Jason Mistry failed to meet his contractual KPIs and further produce any results during his time at C2 Capital. These led C2 Capital leadership to form the view of the misalignment between the expected level of contribution and the former employee’s claimed capabilities in the institutional investment segment as per the mutually agreed terms. A decision was made in our weekly leadership meeting on the 19th of February to make his role redundant.

As with any employer, the continual failure of achieving business results can lead to a closure of the business unit.

In response to Jason Mistry’s claim that he was fired because of an email that he sent to me 10.27am on the 20th of February, the following is an extract of an email sent to Mark Prestige at 11.11PM Tuesday the 19th of February:

“Hi Mark,

Tomorrow we need to meet with Jason to tell him his current role is redundant”

I also said in the email

“He can move across to the AD role however he will need to comply on activity and performance standards that applies to all ADs and attend all meetings”.

In the case of Jason Mistry, he was offered a redeployment role as an Associate Director, a role he refused to accept, which subsequently led C2 Capital with no other alternative but to offer a redundancy.

AFRs reference to so-called “Fraudulent documents”

In September last year C2 Capital received a term sheet through a partner in C2 Capital SEA Ltd, a Singaporean company C2 Capital is in partnership with, whose purpose is to find capital internationally that can be invested into C2 Capitals commercial property developments.

This offer in the term sheet was from Blackstone funds which is unrelated to the international fund manager Blackstone Capital.

Jason Mistry had informed myself that he had experience in cross border transactions so I directed him to review the offer. This was a complex financial instrument involving many factors, however in the end it was as basic as Blackstone Funds were offering C2 Capital a line/loan facility.

In his review Jason Mistry expressed concerns regarding the validity of the loan and some of the entities involved. By this stage C2 Capital had made the decision that commercially it didn’t suit C2 Capital and that we would not be taking up the offer.

I make the point that C2 Capital is continually reviewing offers of funding which is part of our business and only a small percentage we act on.

At the same time on two occasions Jason Mistry said to myself that he believed we needed to share with other members in the C2 Capital ecosystem, what he thought he had found in his review.

In these conversations I made it clear to him that the companies involved in the potential transaction that I was the sole Director and through our holding entities the only shareholder. Therefore as the only Director I had no legal obligation to inform anyone of my decisions.

What is also important to make clear that if we had acted on this offer and it proved to be fraudulent, then myself and the respective companies would have been the victims of fraud, not the perpetrator of fraud as how the AFR has alleged in its article.

As it turned out our partner in Singapore took up this facility in his own right and in a meeting with our partner in December in Singapore, he showed me an online bank account with NoorBank that was as a result of the Blackstone Funds line of credit.

On my return to Australia, I shared with Jason Mistry what I had learnt and that in fact it appeared to have been a legitimate facility and in that conversation I said to Jason Mistry as far as I was concerned this matter was closed.

AFR omission of critical facts

In an email correspondence with the Journalist from the AFR David Marin-Guzman on the 21st of May I made it very clear to him the factual error that was critical to the story which was the fact that at the time of the Blackstone Funds offer of funding I was the Sole Director of all the companies involved. The AFR chose to run the article even though they knew of this fact.

This is the email sent to him;

Dear David,

We refer to your below email, in which it appears you are referring to the case of MLG1211/2019 – Jason Mistry v C2 Capital Investor Channels Pty Ltd.

C2 Capital Investor Channels Pty Ltd does not intend to respond to any matter currently before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Court) because it is clear that there is going to be a factual dispute and that factual dispute may well include many of the matters you have raised in your questions. The Court’s role in determining the factual dispute should not be undermined by us, and should be treated carefully by the Australian Financial Review.

We also put you on notice of one clear error in your email – Mr Akiva Kremnizer is not, and has never been, a director of C2 Capital Investor Channels Pty Ltd (or C2 Capital Pty Ltd). I myself, Peter Terrill is currently and has always been the sole director of both companies. This information would be clear if you had conducted a company search on both entities.

C2 Capital has filed defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Fairfax Media Publications, journalist David Marin-Guzman and Jason Mistry.

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