Atok-Big Wedge loses bid for Mindoro site 15 September 2013 | Business Mirror  THE Court of Appeals (CA) has granted the petition filed by Norwegian firm Intex Resources ASA seeking the dismissal of the complaint filed by publicly listed mining company Atok-Big Wedge Co., demanding its compliance with their agreement covering the sale of its mining project in the province of Mindoro. In a seven-page decision penned by Associate Justice Mario Lopez, the CA’s Special Ninth Division declared that the Regional Trial Court in Makati City Branch 142 has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of Atok’s complaint filed against Intex President Erlend Grimstad, Intex Resources ASA and Intex Resources AS. The appellate court held that the summons was not properly served on the defendants pursuant to the Rules of Court. It noted that based on Section 12, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, there are three modes of effecting service of summons on a foreign corporation, namely, service on its resident agent designated in accordance with law for that purpose; service on the government official designated by law to receive summons if the corporation does not have a resident agent and service on any of the corporation’s officers or agents within the Philippines. In the case of Intex, the CA said it had no resident agent in the country; thus summonses were not served on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the designated government agency; and the alias summonses were tendered to a certain Maricel Lodevico, the receptionist of Intex Resources Philippines Inc., which is a distinct and separate entity from Intex ASA and Intex AS. Lodevico, said the CA, was not authorized to receive court processes in behalf of the defendants. Thus, the CA added, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion to dismiss filed by Grimstad and Intex. “All told, the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion to dismiss. We reiterate that the requirements of the rule on service of summons must be strictly followed; otherwise, the trial court will not acquire jurisdiction to validly try and decide the case against the defendant,” the CA declared. “With this finding warranting the dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants, there is no more need to discuss the other issues raised in the petitions,” the CA said. In its complaint before the Makati RTC, Atok claimed that Intex reneged on the sale of 100-percent of a nickel mine situated on a 9,720-hectare property in Mindoro. Atok recounted that on October 7, 2010, its authorized officers met with Intex ASA, represented by Grimstad, after the latter offered to sell its entire equity in a wholly owned subsidiary Intex AS which, in turn, controls the nickel mining project. Atok proposed that it would acquire the shares with purchase price consisting of $10 million (cash consideration) and 300 million unissued stocks (consideration shares). In addition Intex ASA would have the option to put the consideration shares to Atok at an agreed exercise price of $100 million. w r - mindoro-site
Intex Resources Philippines Inc. 2014