01/03/2013 03:49 EST | Updated 03/05/2013 05:12 EST

Wenzel-Downhole to pay $18.5M in damages, interest and costs in legal dispute

CALGARY - Wenzel Downhole Tools Ltd. (TSX:WZL) said Thursday that it has agreed to pay almost $18.5 million to end a legal dispute with two other companies.

Dreco Energy Services ULC and Vector Oil Tools ULC had accused Wenzel of inducing the former owner of Vector to violate a non-competition agreement he had with that company.

Last month an arbitrator ordered Wenzel Downhole, a Calgary-based manufacturer and supplier of drilling equipment to the oil and gas industry, to pay $14.7 million in damages plus interest to the two companies.

The arbitrator also dismissed a counterclaim by Wenzel against Dreco and Vector, which claimed damages for abuse of process and interference with its business.

All three companies had until Jan. 2 to appeal the decision, which indicated Wenzel Downhole might also be responsible for a portion of the costs of the two other companies as well.

Wenzel Downhole said in a statement Thursday that all three companies had agreed not to appeal and that it had reached an agreement with Dreco and Vector to pay $18,475,683 to cover the award, plus interest and costs.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Wenzel Downhole shares were up a penny at $1.85 in late-day trading Thursday.