June 2, 2010, 3:25 PM

Coastal Contacts sues a company director

The Canadian eyewear retailer alleges a director influenced the sale of a subsidiary.

Coastal Contacts Inc., a Canadian eyewear retailer, has sued Daniel Muhlbach, a company director whom Coastal says arranged an outside bid to buy the company’s Swedish subsidiary.

Coastal Contacts, No. 110 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, accuses Muhlbach of trying to help a private equity firm buy Lensco AB for about $43 million. In its suit, filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Coastal says that Muhlbach owned shares in Lenslogistics, which Coastal bought in 2004 and then made part of the Lensco subsidiary. Coastal says Muhlbach served as Lenslogistics’ managing director until March and also has a seat on Coastal’s board of directors.

Coastal says that in an effort to recruit former Lensco employees to buy the subsidiary, Muhlbach divulged confidential financial information and trade secrets, and negatively influenced sales revenue and profits to achieve a lower sale price for the unit. Litorina Capital Advisors, a Swedish firm, in April made an unsolicited offer for Lensco.

Coastal is seeking unspecified damages and wants to remove Muhlbach as a company director. Coastal did not respond to requests for comment. Muhlbach could not be reached for comment.

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