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Contracts Keyed to Marshall
Bel-Ray Company v. Chemrite Ltd.
Citation:181 F.3d 435 (1999)
Bel-Ray entered into a series of agreements with Chemrite (Pty.) Ltd., a South African corporation, for the blending and distribution of Bel-Ray products in South Africa. Ivor H. Kahn, Cesare Carbonare, Ian Robertson, and Pierre Van Der Riet were officers or directors, as well as shareholders, of Chemrite. In the Spring of 1997, the parties engaged in a series of negotiations. These negotiations were initially motivated by Bel-Ray’s interest in acquiring a stake in Lubritene. Soon after these negotiations, a former Lubritene director brought internal corporate documents to Bel-Ray’s attention. Among these documents were the minutes of a Lubritene board meeting held in anticipation of the Spring 1997 negotiations “to resolve the legal stance Lubritene (Pty) Ltd must take in respect of the Bel-Ray Company Inc. agreement. The board then resolved to (i) liquidate Chemrite; (ii) continue to trade with Bel-Ray Company Inc as is; (iii) create another new company and transfer all of Lubritene’s business other than Bel-Ray to that company so that Lubritene will have no assets.
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