Three Diamondbacks minority owners file lawsuit over dispute with team owner Ken Kendrick

While there’s no actual baseball going on because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, some palace intrigue within the ownership ranks of the Arizona Diamondbacks has come to light. Via Zach Buchanan of The Athletic, three of the team’s minority owners have filed suit against managing general partner Ken Kendrick. 

They allege that Kendrick violated the law by ordering them to increase their stake in the team or sell their shares back to the team. The dispute began in January, when Kendrick informed 22 minority owners of the directive, which constitutes an effort to streamline the current ownership group. The three minority owners in question are Alfredo Molina, CEO of a Phoenix-area jewelry company; Jim Weber, a former professional pitcher; and Carlisle Investments. Carlisle Investments has been a part of the team’s ownership group since 1998, and Molina and Weber bought in back in 2004. 

Kendrick, 77 and a former banking executive, first became a part-owner of the Diamondbacks when the team was founded in 1995. He’s been managing general partner since 2004. 

Per Buchanan, the team released the following statement: 

“The Managing General Partner of the D-backs, with the support of Major League Baseball and on advice of independent legal counsel, has chosen to streamline the ownership group and reduce the number of partners with very minimal equity stakes in the partnership. Each of those investors was given the opportunity to remain as part of the group by purchasing additional partnership units at a rate determined by a highly respected, independent appraiser.  The same rate was utilized to purchase back existing units from those who declined the offer to purchase new units. The overwhelming majority of investors chose one of these options. While it is unfortunate that the plaintiffs have chosen to decline the offer and take legal action, this decision is well within the rights of the Managing General Partner, who looks forward to the resolution of the matter.”

Buchanan’s story has additional details on the dispute, including the six counts on which the plaintiffs are suing