Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., who is currently involved in a legal battle with former employer Vivendi over his pension, has found himself the target of a potential suit by former Simon & Schuster head Dick Snyder.
At the heart of the dispute are Snyder’s claims that Bronfman failed to pay him for his help in negotiating the $2.6 billion takeover of Warner Music in 2003, according to the New York Post.
Snyder delivered a draft copy of the suit to Bronfman April 10th along with an ultimatum: Pony up at least $100 million or reach some other settlement by April 24th or he would file the suit.
In the suit, the 73-year-old ex-CEO, who was ousted from Simon & Schuster in 1994, paints himself as a "skilled dealmaker" and a well-connected player in the business world. Snyder also makes several personal attacks on Bronfman, chiding him for his lack of higher education, privileged upbringing and several failed investments.
The complaint alleges the pair met in 2001 and Snyder was asked to help Bronfman review options for his next move after his resignation from Vivendi, in return for which Snyder would receive a "fair and equitable" payment.
While Snyder doesn’t claim to have anything to do with closing the deal for Warner Music, he does allege the acquisition was his idea and that he helped bring the parties to the table.
Bronfman and his associates told the Post Snyder was a "hanger-on" who never had an employment contract and attempted to muscle in on the deal by crashing several high-profile lunches and dinners.
"He seemed like he wanted to get in on the deal and he was always hanging around, but to this day, I’m not sure he actually did anything," a source who was involved in the Warner transaction told the Post.
Attorneys for Bronfman claim the lawsuit constitutes an attempt at extortion, and have notified the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office about the matter.
Snyder’s lawyers say they welcome the attention of the DA’s office, claiming "there are serious allegations in Mr. Snyder’s lawsuit that may well interest criminal investigators."