28. Contingent assets and liabilities
On 13 March 2014, we announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell the service division operations to Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., or CRL, for a total consideration of up to €134 million. CRL agreed to pay us an immediate cash consideration of €129 million. The potential earn-out of €5 million due upon achievement of a revenue target 12 months after transaction closing has not been obtained. Approximately 5% of the total consideration, including price adjustments, was being held on an escrow account. To date, four claims have been introduced by CRL, which all have been settled for a total amount of €1.3 million. On 17 January 2017 an amount of €4.1 million was released from the escrow account. The release of the remaining balance of the escrow account will be possible after final agreement between the parties on the amounts at stake.
Following the divestment, we remained guarantor until early February 2017 in respect of the lease obligations for certain U.K. premises amounting to £3 million future rent payments. CRL shall fully indemnify us against all liabilities arising in connection with the lease obligations. We evaluated the risk to be remote. Finally, following common practice, we have given customary representations and warranties which are capped and limited in time (since 1 April 2016, CRL can only introduce a claim covered by the Tax Deed (during a period of 5 years), other claims related to the sale cannot be submitted anymore).
In the course of 2008, a former director of one of the subsidiaries sued for wrongful termination and seeks damages of €1.5 million. We believe that the amount of damages claimed is unrealistically high. In 2014, the court requested an external advisor to evaluate the exact amount of damages. On 29 January 2016, the court made a 1st degree judgment, dismissing all claims in full. In appeal, the 2nd degree court instructed the 1st degree court to conduct a new trial, which is currently pending. So far, no hearings have been scheduled and no decisions have been made. Considering the defense elements provided, as well as the fact that so far the court has made no decision indicating that the claim would be sustained, our board and management evaluated the risk to be remote to possible, but not likely. Accordingly, it was decided not to record any provision in 2016 as the exposure was considered to be limited.