TeleTech Sues Spanish Tycoon Over Acquisition

TeleTech Holdings Inc., Denver, has filed a federal lawsuit against Spanish tycoon Albert Olle on charges that he defrauded the company when it purchased his former business Contact Center Holding SA, the Rocky Mountain News reported yesterday.

Two years after buying Contact Center Holding from Olle for $100 million, TeleTech claimed to find that its financial statements were fraudulent and included high-margin contracts obtained through bribes. A TeleTech spokeswoman confirmed that the lawsuit had been filed but declined comment due to company policy prohibiting discussion of pending litigation.

Olle founded Contact Center Holding in 1989. After the sale, he became chairman of Difusio Telemarketing, a subsidiary of Contact Center Holding.

Besides Olle, TeleTech's New York stock transfer agent, Barcelona businessman Carlos Marti and 100 unnamed defendants were targeted in the suit. According to TeleTech, Marti was connected with high-ranking officers at Difusio's client companies and controlled their decisions to enter into contracts, accepting bribes in exchange for his influence.

When it announced its purchase of Contact Center Holding in September 2000, TeleTech projected that the new acquisition's annual revenue was ready to rise 70 percent. Olle had promoted the company as a healthy venture with a solid client list, TeleTech said.

TeleTech claimed it had done adequate research on Contact Center Holding prior to the purchase but had no way of knowing about the bribes.

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