Oak Investment, Gobi Seek $60 Million From VisionChina

(Corrects location in third paragraph.)

Venture capital firms Oak Investment Partners and Gobi Partners asked a New York state judge to award them $60 million they say they’re owed by VisionChina Media Inc. (VISN) in a breach of contract lawsuit.

The firms say VisionChina, an operator of a digital mobile television advertising network, made baseless fraud allegations against them to avoid paying for its 2010 acquisition of Digital Media Group Ltd., a company they owned shares in, according to documents filed in state court in Manhattan today. The fraud claims were dismissed and Judge Charles Ramos granted the firms’ request to seek a $30 million payment for the $160 million merger that was due in November 2010, according to court records.

Another $30 million was due Nov. 16, according to the filings. Oak Investment Partners and Gobi Partners asked the judge to rule that VisionChina breached the merger agreement and to enter a $60 million judgment against the Shenzhen, China- based company. Jessica Barist Cohen, a spokeswoman for VisionChina, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment about the filing.

The company’s board believes that the venture firms’ claims are without merit and is appealing the judge’s rulings, VisionChina said in a Nov. 16 statement distributed by PR Newswire.

The case is Shareholder Representative Services v. VisionChina Media, 650526-2011, New York State Supreme Court, Manhattan

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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