Popular television personality claims he has reached a verbal agreement entitling him to 3.4 million shares now worth NOK10 million
Popular Norwegian TV presenter Hallvard Flatland says he is entitled to 3.4 million shares in online gambling group Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) under a verbal agreement with company officials back in 2015. The company is being sued by the television host and the two parties met in the Bergen District Court this past Wednesday, local news outlets report.
Mr. Flatland has worked for Norway’s first commercial television station, TVNorge, as well as for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. He is best known as the creator and host of the nation’s most popular gameshow, Casino, which aired between 1989 and 1993 and then briefly from 2003 to 2004. Mr. Flatland is also an avid gambler.
According to court filing, the TV presenter believes he is entitled to 3.4 million GIG shares, which are currently valued at around NOK10 million. Mr. Flatland has told court that back in the spring of 2015, he reached a verbal agreement with former Nio Inc. Chief Executive and investor Kjetil Myrlid Aasen to receive shares in the gambling group as part of a collaboration that would have seen the TV host become a GIG ambassador. Nio, a gambling company itself, had just secured the acquisition of GIG at the time.
Deal or No Deal
Providing further details about the agreement, Mr. Flatland has said that it was reached on April 30, 2015 in Bergen. The involved parties did not sign any documents to officialize the deal, but the TV presenter has pointed out he was ensured a deal was reached. A new CEO was appointed to lead the combined entity, once the Nio/GIG deal was completed. Mr. Flatland contacted the newly appointed executive shortly after and asked for additional information on the agreement’s execution. However, the TV presenter was told that there would be no collaboration and that there was no agreement reached.
Mr. Aasen said in court that there was no deal of any kind, but admitted that he was approached by Mr. Flatland and that the latter asked to talk with GIG management about potential collaboration.
GIG Chairman Helge Nilsen represented the group in court on Wednesday. He explained that they were skeptical about the success of potential collaboration with Mr. Flatland. Mr. Nilsen further pointed out that the company did not have much money at the time and was not sure how its partnership with the TV presenter would help it.
On the other hand, Mr. Flatland said that as part of his agreement with GIG, he bought one million shares in the company to show his faith in its future. Mr. Aasen said yesterday in court that the purchase of shares was part of the capitalization of the gambling group and had nothing to do with the alleged agreement.
Gaming Innovation Group is headquartered in Malta, but operates offices in Oslo, Gibraltar, and Copenhagen, among others. Its activities include the provision of both B2B and B2C online gambling products.
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