A team of the Tampa Bay Rays’ minority partners filed suit in opposition to main owner Stuart Sternberg this week, alleging he improperly enriched himself by secretly transferring operational alter of the MLB franchise to an entity he managed.
The lawful spat centers on the minority owners’ claim that Sternberg “wrongfully and surreptitiously” transferred lawful possession of the group in 2020 from an present partnership structure to an entity known as “Rays Baseball Club.” The partners recount they didn’t be taught about the switch till months after it took place.
“These actions agree with stripped plaintiffs of the payment of their lengthy-held investments in the franchise and group,” the lawsuit says.
The minority owners participating in the lawsuit in opposition to Sternberg are listed as the MacDougald Family Restricted Partnership, Stephen Waters, a have faith in Waters’ title, Robet Kelinert and Gary Markel. They collectively agree with much less than 10% of the Rays franchise.
The Rays minority partners are suing Sternberg for violation of Florida’s Unfair and Fake Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment and false switch.
The lawsuit alleges, among utterly different claims, that Sternberg and the Rays Baseball Club entity failed to uncover a $376 million cost from regional broadcast partner Fox Sports Solar, which used to be “got after the possession of the club and franchise had been transferred out of the partnership and into RBC.”
The partners accuse Sternberg of having “intentionally concealed” the existence of the Rays Baseball Club entity.
“The opt up of all of here is that the partnership has been lowered to a mere shell, with out a revenues from baseball-associated operations, no cash drift, and no responsibilities of the administration of the Rays group and franchise to the restricted partners – the very purpose the restricted partnership used to be shaped,” the lawsuit acknowledged.
The Rays and an MLB guide declined to drawl on the lawsuit.
“What used to be represented as merely shifting sources to a utterly owned subsidiary used to be of direction a focused and concealed idea to decide on up rid of our possibilities particular person rights, while permitting both RBC and Sternberg broader rights than those equipped below the partnership agreement, necessitating this lawsuit,” acknowledged Courtney Fernald, a member of the lawful group representing the minority owners and managing partner at Englander Fischer.
The Athletic used to be first to sage on the lawsuit.
The latest filing marked the third time this one year that the minority owners agree with sued Sternberg all the procedure thru an escalating lawful battle over alter of the Rays.
The same partners additionally sued Sternberg in Would possibly possibly possibly possibly also 2021 and accused him of accomplishing a lengthy-working “blueprint to squeeze out the restricted partners” and grab corpulent alter of the franchise, the Tampa Bay Instances reported.
The Rays negative among the least treasured MLB teams, with an estimated valuation of $1.1 billion per Forbes’ calculations.