How-Do suspends publication as 'no end in sight' to Confidential row
North West media news website How-Do has today suspended publication because it can see "no end in sight" to its ongoing ownership dispute with Manchester Confidential boss Mark Garner.
How-Do merged with Confidential in November last year after finding itself in financial difficulties but the deal unravelled and the pair underwent an acrimonious split at the turn of the year.
Garner has since used How-Do's own email database to issue public and at times personal statements accusing How-Do's founder, Nick Jaspan, of reneging on an agreement to hand over 90% of his business by walking away with the How-Do website, and its associated events, and putting them into a new company called Northern Publishing without his consent.
Jaspan now appears to have reached the end of his tether with the accusations and today issued his own statement calling time on publishing How-Do until the row can be resolved.
In the statement, Jaspan claims that "several key matters" had not been disclosed to How-Do when it agreed to merge with Confidential.
He wrote: "Firstly that the company we believed we were merging with, CPub, had no assets. Mark Garner, the MD of Cpub, has a policy of keeping all his url's and assets out of his companies so that he can easily close them and start again. We were also not told that the Crown was about to petition Cpub to be wound up, something which occurred a few days later although we were not informed about this until several weeks later."
The statement continued: "The dispute between How-Do and Nick Jaspan and ManCon and Mark Garner has been in the hands of lawyers since early February. The advice we received was not to comment on the increasingly desperate and acrimonious statements being issued by Mark Garner by way of emails styled as How-Do.org and try to settle the matter through lawyers or mediation. Despite prompting from numerous parties to consider legal action for defamation, our legal advice was that any libel action would prove fruitless as no costs were likely to be recovered because Mark Garner has no assets.
"The increasing number and the nature of the emails being sent to How-Do readers, composed by Mark Garner, a classic playground bully, has tested the enormous reservoir of goodwill that exists in the North West towards How-Do. With no end in sight to this dispute and as we are unable to mitigate against the ongoing email tirades, we have decided to suspend publication and related activities until a resolution is reached."
Jaspan, who set up How-Do five years ago, said that anyone who had bought tickets to How-Do's future events, or had submitted entries into its Northern Marketing Awards, would be refunded "in the course of the next few days".