Court Sides With Widow in Holiday World Case
Maybe now the Koch family can patch things up by piling into a raft for a water ride together. Or perhaps they can share a hearty meal in a Holiday World cafeteria.
The Indiana Appeals Court laid the groundwork for a Koch family makeup with a ruling Thursday that appears to end the family’s bitter, three-year feud over control of Holiday World.
The ruling allows Lori Koch, the widow of former Holiday World President Will Koch, to retain her controlling interest in the southern Indiana amusement park.
Lori, a former entertainer at the park, became entangled in a court battle with her brother-in-law, Dan Koch, over who should control Will’s 60 percent stake in the park, after his death by drowning in 2010.
Only another appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court can prolong the legal fight at this point. Now that the appeals court has denied their appeal, neither Dan Koch nor his Evansville attorney offered a comment on what they’re thinking of doing next.
Dan Koch, who owns the remaining 40 percent of the shares in the family company that controls the amusement park, is a Florida attorney who put his law practice on hold to run Holiday World after his brother’s death.
His sister-in-law argued in a lawsuit that Dan’s $27 million offer undervalued her husband’s shares by at least $5 million. A Vanderburgh County judge agreed, saying Dan’s offer was invalid because it breached a family agreement that outlined the procedures for buying shares if a family shareholder died.
The Appeals Court judges affirmed the Vanderburgh judge’s ruling, saying that Dan Koch not only offered too little for the shares, but failed to raise his price when Lori asked.
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