Estonian Express (via PC Gamer) has shared details of a lawsuit filed by executive producer of Disco Elysium, Kaura Kender, against studio ZA/UM. The documents reveal alleged details of a plan that resulted in the top developers of the popular RPG - Robert Kurvitz, Alexander Rostov and Helen Hindpere - being fired from the company.
Recall that last year Margus Linnamäe, who was ZA/UM's largest shareholder and financed Disco Elysium, decided to cash out his shares in the studio. It was assumed at the time that the man would distribute the money among all the shareholders, but in the end he decided to sell ownership to Ilmar Kompus, one of the investors. Linnamäe wanted 4.5 million euros for his stake. Things get really convoluted when you look at how the deal was struck.
A breakneck plan
It turns out that Kompus did not have the funds to buy the shares, so he decided to carry out a rather unusual plan. His front company, Tütreke, bought some concept arts from ZA/UM for the design of Pioneer One, a follow-up to Disco Elysium. Interestingly enough, Kompus' company allegedly paid one euro for these materials only to then sell them back to ZA/UM for 4.8 million euros. It was with this money that Kompus was able to acquire a major stake in the company from Linnamäe.
Then the man wanted to quickly sell ZA/UM to a large publisher such as Tencent or Microsoft. This potential deal could have involved many millions of euros, but ultimately did not materialize because Robert Kurvitz, despite his dismissal, had the right to block any transaction related to Disco Elysium.
It is worth recalling that it was not the aforementioned Kurvitz and Rostov who sued Kompus, but executive producer Kaur Kender, who, like his colleagues, also was fired allegedly for asking uncomfortable questions. The accusation stems from an alleged fraud of some one million euros, committed against him by Kompus.
What's more, Kender is also attacking another executive director, Tonis Haavel, who, according to the accuser, pulled the strings and was the man behind the takeover. According to him, Haavel preferred to operate behind the scenes because he was bankrupt. The former banker has yet to pay 11.2 million euros in compensation to businessmen who lost money in the Baku land case.
In addition, Kender urged the court to seize the defendant's shares in ZA/UM so that he could not sell them and send the money abroad during the trial. The court granted this request and since October of this year, Kompus has not been able to sell the company.