Shell has had advance sight of the article below concerning intellectual property owned by Enertag SAS.
Shell had the opportunity to:
- point out any inaccurate information
- supply comment for publication with the article on an unedited basis
- seek an injunction to prevent publication
Since there has been NO response, we have published the article as per the draft supplied to Shell; namely to Royal Dutch Shell Plc CEO Peter Voser, its Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Michiel Brandjes, and its rule bending Chief Ethics & Non Compliance Officer, Richard Wiseman.
By John Donovan
In July of this year, I received an email from the Chief Executive Officer of Enertag SAS, a high technology service company providing solutions for subsea oil & gas asset management, in which Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 had acquired a stake.
After becoming suspicious of Shell machinations, the CEO had stumbled across an article authored by me which added to his existing anxiety over Shell’s bonafides: Warning to the new partner in Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 BV
He was also concerned at reading about our four High Court actions against Shell for IP theft (settled by Shell) and the current case underway involving another unfortunate company.
Basically, Enertag’s CEO was concerned that Shell had engineered an investment stake in his company with the actual intention of sending Enertag bankrupt, so that Shell ended up with valuable company owned patents for a fraction of their true worth. To put in crude terms, the CEO had reached the conclusion that the company was about to be screwed by Shell.
I advised him to contact Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc in the hope that Mr Brandjes would at least ensure that executive directors at RDS would be aware of what was going on and could not later pretend to know nothing about what had occurred.
The self-explanatory email to Michiel Brandjes…
Dear Mr Brandjes,
I am the CEO of Enertag SAS, a company owned at 10% by the STV (Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1) and potentially 57% with the conversion of the bonds brought by STV.
Unfortunately we are in serious conflict with Shell Subsidiary to a degree which has already adversely impacted on our business and now threatens our continued existence.
I noticed from the website www.royaldutchshellplc.com that you are personally held in high esteem by its owners despite their general hostility towards Royal Dutch Shell senior management, apparently arising from litigation relating to intellectual property.
In view of our predicament, which also relates to intellectual property, I hope that the allegations made by the Donovans are entirely without foundation. Otherwise, there would be no point in continuing our efforts to reach an amicable mutually beneficial outcome with STV Fund 1, if our fate is already sealed. As it is, negotiations have broken down.
Under all of the above circumstances, would you very kindly draw this matter to the attention of Mr Voser and seek his personal intervention? It would be remiss of me when 15 jobs are at stake not to make this plea for a review by RDS senior management to ensure this matter is being properly handled at STV Fund 1, in accordance with Shell business principles.
I have attached some documents which will hopefully explain our situation.
Please do not hesitate to ask for any further information and kindly let me know if you do decide to act on this matter.
EXTRACT FROM A FURTHER EMAIL TO MR BRANDJES
Following this mail, I met last Thursday (August 6th) with a Mr Erik VOLLEBREGT, head of STV in order to discuss the matter.
The entire Enertag team was full of hope at the possibility of arriving at a reasonable solution, from which both parties would benefit, and from which any disagreement would be avoided.
To our disappointment, it appears that Mr Vollebregts decision was already made, & he confirmed during our meeting that he would indeed let Enertag go bankrupt (both US & French offices) and would have STV recover the IP.
This was the subsequent considered response from Mr Brandjes who as usual had done everything he could to help.
Dear Mr S……
Thank you for your email of 8th August. My colleague has just reverted indeed. He has reviewed this matter and assures me that there is nothing to suggest that this matter has been handled inappropriately by the STV Fund or its Investment Manager Kenda Capital BV. I realise that you may be disappointed in particular business developments nonetheless but that is a separate matter. We note that you are in discussion with Mr Vollebregt and believe that that is the appropriate route to follow. Please note for clarification that Royal Dutch Shell plc does not control either the STV Fund or Kenda Capital BV.
Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Registered office: Shell Centre London SE1 7NA UK
Place of registration and number: England 4366849
Correspondence address: PO Box 162, 2501 AN The Hague,
This all happened in July and August . The ENERTAG company website has since been modified and the links are no longer operational. The CEO has not responded to my last email. The last time I heard from him, on 27 August, he said that the company would probably cease to exist the following week. So it seems likely the company is defunct?
No bets taken on who will end up with the patents.
The book “Cheats, Charlatans, and Chicanery: More Outrageous Tales of Skulduggery” has no relationship to this article. It was only displayed because the title seems appropriate.