Battle between Cuban and Perot Heats Up
On behalf of John McDuff, Attorney at Law
Barring a settlement, Ross Perot and Mark Cuban will face off in court over charges by Perot that Cuban’s management of the Dallas Mavericks has driven the team to insolvency. Perot’s Hillwood Investment Properties has been a 5-percent stakeholder in the Mavs since Perot sold control of the team to Cuban in 2000.
Cuban denies the team is near insolvency, suggesting that Perot may be posturing for a buy-out. Cuban represents himself as the team’s largest debt holder and said he guarantees all team debt he does not personally hold.
Cuban and Perot are publicly known to despise each other, a fact that Cuban makes no effort to hide. He told the Dallas News that there are four people in this world he doesn’t like, and Perot is one of them. So, is this case all about sound management practices, or is a billionaire personality clash playing out in the courtroom?
Perot alleges in the lawsuit that the Dallas Mavericks team lacks sufficient revenues to cover its operating costs. He asked the court to appoint a receiver to run the business. The team has racked up debt exceeding $200 million, according to the Perot camp.
Does Perot want out? He hasn’t been commenting publicly. Cuban says he hasn’t offered a buyout because it would make him sick to write Perot a check for his shares. Undoubtedly, Cuban could if he wanted to – his net worth is $2.4 billion, closing in on double that of Perot, whose net worth is said to be $1.4 billion.
Business Insider’s take on the lawsuit is that at the heart of the dispute are alleged related party transactions benefiting Cuban’s other business holdings at the expense of the Mavs. It cites Perot’s demand for an ironclad guarantee that Cuban will continue to guarantee all Mavericks debt in the future as indicative of the essence of Perot’s complaint.
This is the second time in a year that Perot’s company has initiated legal proceedings against Cuban’s.