ERG abandons claims on ticketing sham

Ian Rogers

One of the remnants of transport ticketing group ERG agreed to pay A$5 million to the New South Wales government late last week to settle a long-running claim over the failure of ERG to deliver a ticketing system that would cater to all forms of public transport in the state.

In 2007, the NSW governmental terminated a contract first entered into in 2003. The Public Transport Corporation then sued ERG for damages, and ERG, an ASX-listed company at the time, counter-sued.

On Friday, the Department of Transport said that ERG's successor companies (now known as Videlli) had agreed to pay $5 million in damages. This is, however, only a fraction of the $88 million claimed by the PTC.

ERG abandoned claims to recover a $27 million bond retained by the government. The firm had previously claimed the PTC owed it $200 million.

Videlli will, presumably, bear its own legal costs. The Department of Transport did not make it clear if the firm will also pay the department's legal costs.

ERG managed to wipe out more than $700 million in capital contributed to the company, most of it provided during the internet boom of the late 1990s.

Financial statements for Videlli show that Vix Financial, a related company of Vix ERG, and its controlling shareholder, Duncan Saville, have funded the litigation.