Former Louisville Slugger owner sues over stock rift - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former Louisville Slugger owner sues over stock rift

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Hillerich & Bradsby Co. is asking a judge to resolve a dispute over the value of more than 2,000 shares that were returned by stockholders who opposed the sale of the Louisville Slugger brand.

H&B filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Jefferson Circuit Court. It wants a ruling that the fair market value of each share is $90 – lower than the $300 and $700 some former investors contend they’re owed for each share.

In the lawsuit, the privately held company claims it based the value of the shares on an appraisal by Louisville investment firm Hilliard Lyons, which evaluated their worth immediately before the sale closed in April. But in July, seven former shareholders notified H&B that their estimates were substantially higher and their “demand for payment remains unsettled.”

Four members of the Schoen family estimated that their 1,150 shares are worth at least $700 each, according to the lawsuit.

“We think they’re entitled to significantly more money than what they were offered,” said family attorney Laurence J. Zielke. He called the Schoens “long-term shareholders” whose connection to H&B dates to the 1920s.

Zielke said he has reviewed the Hilliard Lyons valuation and doesn’t believe it will support H&B’s appraisal.

Three other shareholders from the Wenig family of El Dorado Hills, Calif., claim their 1,000 shares are worth $300 each, according to the lawsuit.

Besides seeking a favorable ruling on the value of the shares, H&H wants the court to determine that the Wenigs didn’t follow Kentucky state law in notifying the company of their estimates and therefore “waived their right to demand payment.” The family was one day late, according to the lawsuit.

In March, H&B announced it was selling the Louisville Slugger brand to Wilson Sporting Goods in a $70 million deal that ended family ownership in the iconic local business. The company kept its stake in the Slugger Museum on Main Street.

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