Sepura: We’re not impacted by injunction to freeze Hytera assets in the UK
United Kingdom-based LMR manufacturer Sepura says it is continuing normal business operations and is not subject to having its assets frozen, even though it is a subsidiary of Hytera Communications, which has been ordered by the High Court to freeze up to $345.7 million in assets located in England and Wales.
Sepura was listed as a respondent in the case, but the injunction order freezing Hytera assets in England and Wales only applies to Hytera Communications, a Sepura spokesperson told IWCE’s Urgent Communications during an interview today. Sepura posted a statement on its web site that includes the following:
“The [High Court] Judge determined that relief should be granted against Hytera only, and to a more limited extent than had been sought by Motorola,” according to the Sepura statement. “The application was brought following Court proceedings in the U.S. between Motorola and Hytera. Neither Sepura nor its parent company were defendants in those proceedings.
“The freezing order granted by the English Court against Hytera does not impact or affect Sepura or Sepura’s business or Sepura’s ability to continue to conduct its business and continue with its operations.”
The Sepura spokesperson clarified that the “parent company” mentioned in this statement is a reference to Project Shortway Limited, another subsidiary owned by Hytera Communications.
Hytera Communications purchased Sepura in 2017 for $92 million cash. That acquisition was completed two years after Sepura bought Teltronic—another TETRA manufacturer that does business in the U.S. under the PowerTrunk brand—in a deal valued at $139.6 million in 2015.
Motorola Solutions made the injunction request to the UK High Court in the wake of a U.S. federal-court ruling in Chicago that calls for Hytera to pay $345.7 million in compensatory damages for using trade secrets and copyrighted. The U.S. court also awarded Motorola Solutions $418.8 million in punitive damages, but that amount is not referenced in the High Court order.
Although the High Court granted an injunction freezing Hytera’s assets in the UK in reference to the U.S. award, the finding is separate from the ongoing permanent-injunction proceeding before the U.S. federal court. Final briefs in that proceeding are scheduled to be filed on May 14,
Granted on April 9, the UK freezing injunction states that Hytera Communications and its subsidiaries—LMR vendor Sepura is among those listed—”must not remove from England and Wales or in any way dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of its assets which are in England and Wales up to the value of US $345,761,156,”
This ruling applies to all Hytera Communications assets in England and Wales, “whether or not they are in its own name, whether they are solely or jointly owned and whether the Respondent [Hytera] is interested in them legally, beneficially or otherwise. For the purpose of this order the Respondent’s assets include any asset which it has the power, directly or indirectly, to dispose of or deal with as if it were its own. The Respondent is to be regarded as having such power, if a third party holds or controls the asset in accordance with its direct or indirect instructions.”
While the UK injunction order specifies that the ruling applies to stock shares held by Hytera Communications and “and money standing to the credit of any bank account” within England and Wales, it does not address Hytera’s radio assets, in particular.
Hytera Communications issued a statement that the company will be able to conduct “business as usual” for its radio customers.