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Clash bassist’s ex-wife and former manager barred from selling stake in their royalties company

By | Published on Friday 22 March 2019

The Clash

The ex-wife of Clash bassist Paul Simonon – who also managed the band’s affairs for over two decades – has been told she cannot sell her 50% stake in a company that receives royalties from the outfit’s music.

Tricia Ronane wanted to sell her share of Cut-Throat Productions to an investment fund, arguing that it was impossible to be in business with her ex-husband because he won’t respond to any of her queries.

The couple reached a divorce settlement in 2010, and she subsequently stood down from her management role. But under the terms of the divorce, they both had a 50% stake in the Cut-Throat business. Ronane now wanted to sell on her half.

Simonon had asked the court to block the sale, with his legal reps arguing that each party’s 50% equity holding was never intended as an asset to sell. Rather the entity was a useful vehicle through which royalties could be collected and shared between the two sides.

Lawyers then said that Simonon was concerned about who might acquire the other half of the company, and that a business partner might be forced upon him with very different opinions on how monies generated by Cut-Throat should be managed.

Ronane’s team countered that their client had basically been forced to sell because of her ex-husband’s conduct. They said she had endured “years of Mr Simonon refusing to speak to or otherwise communicate with her, [whether] as his former wife, the mother of his children or as a director of Cut-Throat”. His refusal to communicate, they argue, meant she was “forever stuck in this company, which, at least on her evidence, isn’t functioning very well”.

The judge, Mark Cawson – while conceding that Ronane was caught up in an “unfortunate dispute” – nevertheless ruled that she could not sell her half of Cut-Throat, simply because doing so “would be inconsistent and incompatible” with the terms of the divorce settlement. She was also ordered to pay £30,000 towards Simonon’s legal costs.