Time Warner’s Turner Broadcast System is facing a $500 million lawsuit from allegations that it broke an oral contract on the selling of the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers. Rather than sell the teams to former Dallas Mavericks part owner, David McDavid, the teams were sold to Ted Turner’s son and son in law for $250 million.
McDavid has emails and witnesses to verify his claim that Turner agreed to sell him the teams before changing its mind. Ultimately the case will be decided by those witnesses and emails.
Bloomberg: Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting System unit may lose $500 million after reneging on an oral agreement to sell Atlanta’s professional basketball and hockey teams to former Dallas Mavericks part-owner David McDavid, according to a complaint that goes to trial next month…
The $500 million the 66-year-old former car-dealership owner is seeking in damages is based on what comparable teams would be worth, McDavid’s lawyers said. That’s equivalent to 11 per cent of New York-based Time Warner’s $4.39 billion net income last year…
The board of Time Warner, the world’s largest media company, authorised TBS in August 2003 to sell the teams and rights to the arena for about $250 million, over an objection from Ted Turner that the price was too low, Rosenwasser [McDavid’s lawyer] said at the hearing. Turner was the teams’ original owner and a Time Warner director at the time, the lawyer said in court.
“The very next day, Ted Turner’s son-in-law walks into the office of Turner’s chief negotiator and says, ‘I want to buy the assets along the same terms you’re selling to the McDavid group,”’ said Rosenwasser, of the Atlanta law firm Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore.
An “oral agreement”? Please. That’s what contracts are for.
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