DALLAS (CN) – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban notched a win despite the league’s lockout, as a judge dismissed a lawsuit from the team’s minority owner Ross Perot Jr., who claimed Cuban mismanaged the team.
Dallas County Judge Craig Smith granted Cuban’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the shareholder derivative lawsuit and ordering Perot to pay court costs.
“It is ordered that plaintiff Hillwood Investment Properties III, Ltd. take nothing against [the Mavericks], that all claims asserted by plaintiff are denied, and that all costs of court be taxed against plaintiff,” Smith wrote in a 1-page order.
Perot’s company, Hillwood Investment Properties III Ltd., suedlast year, claiming the Mavericks were hobbled by more than $200 million in debts, which he blamed on a “litany of questionable business, financial, and personnel decisions” by Cuban. Perot bought a majority interest in the team in 1996 from founding owner Don Carter, then sold the majority interest to Cuban in 2000.
His complaint claimed there was “no assurance” that the team’s lenders would pay for a projected operating loss of $92 million in the next 4 fiscal years.
“[The team] currently does not have revenues sufficient to pay its operating costs, and without additional borrowings, [the team] will not be able to fund its projected operating losses or to pay its obligations as they become due,” Perot’s complaint stated.
Perot claimed that part of the problem was Cuban taking money from the team and given it to affiliates, including MLW Aviation and cable network HDNet.
“These related-party transactions provided value to these [the Mavericks] or Cuban-related affiliates, at the expense of [the team], due to them not being made on competitive, arms-length terms,” the complaint states. “That absence of fair value has contributed to the current poor financial condition of [the team].”
The Mavericks won their first NBA championship last year. Shortly afterward, Cuban’s attorneys filed a motion for summary judgement. To rebut the allegation of mismanagement, the legal filing included a large color photo of the team hoisting the championship trophy.
Cuban is viewed as a possible new owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, though L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa went on the record this weekend that he does not want Cuban to get the team.