- Rubis reportedly activated a price reduction clause in the sale agreement that saved it 10 million euros (1.2 billion shillings).
- Before handing over the physical assets to Rubis, Gulf Energy erased all data from the computers by formatting.
- But the aggressive data recovery methods used by Rubis led the French multinational to conclude that Gulf Energy had overestimated the value of the assets.
If you buy someone’s computer and recover deleted data, do you have that information and can you use it to make a claim against the seller?
A bitter dispute between Gulf Energy and Rubis Energy has erupted and should answer this question as well as offer a guide for future cases regarding data privacy.
The French multinational believed it got a big discount when it paid 129 million euros (16.4 billion shillings) for key assets owned by Gulf Energy, but an analysis of the properties it bought left the two companies point fingers at each other while shouting fraud.
Rubis reportedly activated a price reduction clause in the sale agreement that saved it 10 million euros (1.2 billion shillings).
Before handing over the physical assets to Rubis, Gulf Energy erased all data from the computers by formatting.
But the aggressive data recovery methods used by Rubis led the French multinational to conclude that Gulf Energy had overestimated the value of the assets.
Rubis used information collected from computers acquired during the sale of assets to demand a refund of 4.1 billion shillings, with a warning that demand could increase depending on further analysis of the information reveals. obtained.
The French company also wants Gulf Energy to provide more financial documents until 2019 to allow for more in-depth analysis.
To evade the reimbursement request, Gulf Energy filed a lawsuit against Rubis, citing breaches of privacy in the use of the retrieved data. He wants the High Court to prevent Rubis from using the information to claim refunds.
Gulf Energy insists that the data retrieved was not part of the information that was to be exchanged between the two companies during negotiations over the acquisition of the assets.
In new court cases, Rubis objected to the hearing of the petition, insisting that the agreements signed by the two parties provided for arbitration in the event of a dispute.
Rubis says the arbitration proceeding should determine whether Gulf Energy’s decision to exaggerate the value of the assets was criminal conduct and commercial fraud.
“The petition does not disclose any violation or violation of constitutional rights. The matters complained of arose out of a business transaction in which the following issues arose; Did the Claimant fraudulently withhold vital information about the business and the assets being traded from the Respondent (Rubis)? Was the concealment by the applicant lawful or was it akin to commercial fraud?
“Has the petitioner committed any criminal offenses by withholding what is now presumed to be confidential information? There is an arbitration clause to which the petitioner is now seeking to restrict its application. It would be a serious violation of the agreements reached by the parties, ”Rubis said in his objection to the case.
As part of the purchase agreement, Rubis acquired the oil business of Gulf Energy, which includes service stations, fuel storage facilities and related equipment.
For the transaction, Gulf Energy formed a subsidiary and placed all assets for sale under the new company. Rubis then acquired the new subsidiary Gulf Energy Holdings Ltd (GEHL).
“The petitioner (Gulf Energy) transferred all ICT assets, including formatted employee PCs and laptops that were to be transferred to GEHL as part of the mutually agreed IT transition plan. In addition, and to ensure that only information relating to the company and specific assets was shared with the defendant (Rubis), the petitioner obtained a new server to which he transferred the information relating to the company and specific assets, ”Gulf Energy said in court. papers.
“By notice of warranty claim dated March 3, 2021, the Respondent alleged, among other things, that with the help of data recovery specialists and through advanced data mining techniques, he had recovered information from the server and from the previously formatted PCs and laptops, information relating to all of the petitioner’s cases, ”adds Gulf Energy.
The data recovered included verified statements, financial records and emails relating to Gulf Energy’s activities.
Rubis first bought KenolKobil for $ 353 (38.3 billion shillings), then used its new acquisition to buy Gulf Energy.
The two purchases made Rubis the largest oil distributor in Kenya, with the French multinational now holding a market share of at least 20%.