John Wayne’s Heirs Turn to the Court

LOS ANGELES (CN) – John Wayne’s daughter and five of his grandchildren have sued Wayne Enterprises, which merged into co-defendant John Wayne Enterprises this year, demanding the right to buy out their partnership interests at fair market value. The heirs asked the court to determine what the fair market value is.

     In the Superior Court complaint, Wayne’s daughter, Aissa Wayne, claims she owned a 14 percent Limited Partnership interest in Wayne Enterprises, which managed “certain assets of the John Wayne Estate.” Each of the five plaintiff grandchildren owned a 2.8 percent LP interest in the partnership.
     Wayne Enterprises had rights to exploit the late actor’s name and likeness, and also had real estate interests.
     Wayne Enterprises merged into a new entity, John Wayne Enterprises, on Jan. 28 this year.
     The Wayne Enterprises expired on Jan. 1, 2010, and the partners could not agree on how to extend it, according to the complaint.
     Ethan Wayne, acting as general manager of the Wayne Enterprises partnership, estimated its fair market value as $10.7 million as of Dec. 8, 2009, according to the complaint. The plaintiffs estimated it at $15.4 million.
     The heirs say they “have elected to exercise their dissenters’ rights and demand the purchase of their respective partnership interests at fair market value”.
     They ask the court to determine that fair market value.
     The heirs are represented by Ellen Garofoo with Liner Grose Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor.

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