iSignthis seeks $27m in damages from ASX

iSignthis seeks $27m in damages from ASX

A fintech unicorn whose shares have been banned from trading for the past eight months is on the offensive against Australia's sharemarket operator, alleging it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Payment identity verifier iSignthis (ASX: ISX) has been in a stoush with the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: ASX) since its shares were suspended in October 2019, sparked by a report questioning the release of performance rights that were worth around $500 million for top executives at the time. 

In December iSignthis took the ASX to court over the decision and has sought orders for the suspension to be lifted. 

What ensued was a saga of repeated contestations from iSignthis towards the ASX's dogged calls for clarification, on matters ranging from a processing suspension with Visa to the relationship with shareholders and how performance rights were transferred.

The two entities have reached an impasse. The majority of their released correspondence could be summarised as the market operator asking for more details, and iSignthis CEO John Karantzis or his legal team claiming the information has already been or need not be given.

Karantzis has even taken over the National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) with iSignthis as the investment vehicle and development underway to create a same-day settlement market equivalent to an "Australian version of NASDAQ".

Now iSignthis wants to change the legal record of events through a request made to the Federal Court to accept an extended Statement of Claim against the ASX which rebutts the market operator's narrative in its Statement of Reasons for the suspension.

The company has also proposed introducing a damages claim for what it alleges to be misleading and deceptive conduct by the ASX under the Corporations Act, and is seeking initial damages flowing from this specific issue in excess of $27 million.

The matter is scheduled to be heard by the Federal Court in Melbourne at 9:30am on 17 July, 2020.

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