Indiana News

Court: Widow of Holiday World Co-Owner Can't Be Forced to Sell

10/3/2013

An appeals court has blocked an attempt by the part-owner of Holiday World and Splashin' Safari to purchase the remaining stock.

Listen:

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%.

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