The Commercial High Court of Colombo has recently issued an interim order against Dr. Chris Nonis et al, in a case filed by majority shareholders of Mackwoods Securities for alleged oppression, mismanagement and misappropriation of assets belonging to Mackwoods Group of Companies. Dr. Nonis was a former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom during Mahinda Rajapaksa government.
In a case filed recently at the Commercial High Court of Colombo, the majority of the shareholders accounting for over 60 percent ownership of Mackwoods Securities (Pvt) Ltd., the holding company of Mackwoods Ltd. and its subsidiary and associate companies, initiated legal action against Dr. Nonis, Chairman, and certain other directors, for alleged oppression of shareholders and mismanagement and misappropriation of company assets belonging to the Mackwoods group of companies. The 60.19 percent majority shareholders of Mackwoods comprise, Mary Varma (Petitioner), Nirmali Samaratunga, and F.G.N. Mendis.
They in addition have demanded an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to appoint three directors nominated by them to the board of Mackwoods.
The court has issued an interim order restraining Dr. Nonis and other directors, namely—Shelendra Nonis Ranaweera, Lalith Fonseka and Lakshman Samarasinghe—from appointing any directors and/or seeking to fill any vacancy on the board of Mackwoods, until the conclusion of the EGM requested by the majority shareholders and further issued an interim order restraining the same four directors from acting in contravention of the Articles of Association of the company. The Petitioner revealed to courts that Dr. Nonis held less than 29 percent of Mackwoods and his sister Shelendra Nonis Ranaweera and the other two directors did not own any shares of Mackwoods. The petition was supported by Romesh De Silva PC, Harsha Amarasekera PC and Attorneys-at-Law Kanchana Peiris and Shraepathy Attanayake, on the instructions of D L &F De Sarams with Attorneys-At-law Jivan Goonetilleke and Dasuni Wijayasiriwardene. In the case bearing Case No. HC(CIVIL) 14/2016 CO filed in the Commercial High Court of the Western Province, Dr. Chrisantha Nicholas Anthony Nonis of No. 69/6, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08 is cited as the second respondent whilst the holding company, Mackwoods Securities (Private) Limited, No. 10, Gnanartha Pradeepa Mawatha, Colombo 08, is cited as the first respondent.