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Dean Spanos’s sister asks the Los Angeles court to force the sale of the charger



In order to force the sale of the charger, the sister of controlling shareholder Dean Spanos (Dean Spanos) filed a petition in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, claiming that the increasing debt has damaged the family’s financial situation and the only solution The plan is to put the NFL franchise on the market.

The petition that Dea Spanos Berberian and her brother acted as the trustee of the family trust stated that the trust’s debts and expenses exceeded $353 million. In addition, according to the document, the trust has no plans to pay more than $22 million to charities.

The petition said: “Every day in the past increases the risk of irreparable financial and reputation losses for charity beneficiaries and Spanos family heritage.”

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When the Chargers moved to Los Angeles in 2017 after 56 seasons in San Diego, they faced the daunting task of repaying the NFL with a $650 million relocation fee and establishing themselves in a market full of colleges and professional sports. Fan base. They now have an emerging superstar in Justin Herbert’s quarterback and share the $5 billion SoFi stadium with the Rams.

But this 156-page document raises questions about the future of the franchise that the Spanos family has owned since 1984, and reveals the family disputes that have been going on privately until now.

In a November 2019 letter included in court documents, Dean Spanos swears to his three siblings that he will keep an investment bank at the end of the 2024 season to Looking for a new owner. Berberian thinks the situation is too terrible to wait.

According to the document, the Berbers “tryed numerous attempts” to resolve the dispute. These included mediation with invalid retired judges of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

“Dean refused to consider selling the trustee’s interests, insisted that the co-trustee continue to borrow, and forced the charity and beneficiaries to wait for years and’hope’, while Dean further speculated. The football team,” the petition said. “Dean failed to come up with any plan to resolve the bleak financial situation of the trust fund because there are no plans other than the one urged by him. [Berberian]. Dean just refused to discuss. …His plan is hope. “

In response to this document, Dean Spanos and his two siblings issued a statement on Thursday, vowing to keep the team at home. They said that if necessary, they are ready to buy their sister’s shares in the franchise.

The statement said: “For the three of us, the charger is one of the most important legacy of our family, just like our parents.” “Unfortunately, our sister Dea seems to have a different, misguided personal agenda. .”

They said: “The operation of the charger will be completely unaffected by this matter.”

Adam Streisand, Berberian’s lawyer, declined to comment. Streisand previously represented Steve Ballmer in the acquisition of the Clippers and Jeanie Buss, a legal action that consolidated her position as the controlling owner of the Lakers.

Although Forbes valued the Charger at $2.6 billion last year, Berber’s petition described the team as a “rare trophy asset” and pointed out that “the price buyers are willing to pay is usually not governed by any economic indicators. “The NFL recently completed a large-scale new media copyright transaction, which may be worth more than 10 billion US dollars a year. The document says that this will definitely attract potential buyers.

The petition mentioned that there are reports that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of about $180 billion, is interested in becoming an NFL owner, and stated that “the charger may be a great opportunity. .”

About forty years ago, family ancestor Alex Spanos (Alex Spanos) bought a majority stake in the San Diego Chargers for $40 million.

His four adult children-Alexandra Spanos Ruhl, Michael Spanos, Dean Spanos and Berberian-each own 15% of the charger. The family trust controls 36% of the team, and the rest is owned by non-family members. After the death of Alex Spanos and his wife Faye in 2018, Dean Spanos and Berberian, the oldest of the four children, became the only co-trustees.

The shares in the charger account for 83% of the shares held by the trust. This petition describes its dismal financial situation, with an estimated annual shortfall of 11 million U.S. dollars, almost no cash flow, and no reason to believe that this figure will improve. The debt includes $164 million “related to the trust fund’s interest in the charger” and at least $75 million in inheritance taxes.

The petition states: “The co-trustees are not seeking to monetize illiquid assets to repay debts and debts and distribute them to beneficiaries, but are mainly borrowing, including borrowing money from one bank to pay another bank. “At the same time, the trust is so focused on owning a minority stake in a professional football team that the beneficiaries have no choice but to rely almost entirely on the rise and fall of the team.”

The petition requires the court to order Berberian and Spanos to take steps to sell the trust’s shares in Chargers and invoke a trust law that would require other shareholders of the fleet to take the same action.

Since 1994, Dean Spanos (Dean Spanos) has been in control of the day-to-day management of the team. His sons also play an important role. John is responsible for the football operations of the team, while AG (AG) is responsible for the business.

“Dean might argue that if he is only allowed to use his identity as a joint trustee to become a speculator… double or triple the wrong decision in the past, he can turn things around because the NFL has made a positive development petition Said. “He has also received support from other family members and beneficiaries (though not all). “

Before Chargers moved to Los Angeles-the relocation caused a columnist to call the brand Dean Spanos the “most annoying person” in San Diego-he kept a copy of his father’s autobiography in his office. The puzzling page is for quick reference. It emphasizes the importance of the family in his decision.

An indispensable passage says: “A solid family foundation: This is the foundation of everything.” “Without a family, no matter how outstanding you are, you will be emotionally empty.”

Sam Farmer, a writer for Time magazine, contributed to this report.

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