Court: Widow of Holiday World Co-Owner Can't Be Forced to Sell
An appeals court has blocked an attempt by the part-owner of Holiday World and Splashin' Safari to purchase the remaining stock.
Brothers Will and Dan Koch owned all shares of the company which owns Holiday World, until Will's death in 2010. A written agreement required the company to buy out the estate of a partner who died, at more than $600 a share.
At first, both sides wanted to avoid having to enforce the agreement. Will's widow Lori, rppresenting the estate, wanted their kids to have a piece of the family business, while Dan didn't want to have to spend the required $32 million dollars.
But when Dan Koch tried to quadruple his salary, Lori asked to be added to the board of directors, as the representative of the majority shareholder - the estate. Dan responded by trying to buy the stock after all -- but for just $27 million. A unanimous appeals court agrees with a lower-court judge that the lowball offer means Koch forfeited his right to force the estate to sell.
The ruling leaves Lori and her children in control of 60% of the company which owns the amusement park, and Dan with 40%.