Ed Kramer will no longer own part of Dragon*Con following a cash-out merger agreed to by directors and shareholders of Dragon Con/ACE, Inc., producer of Dragon*Con. The old company is merging into Dragon Con, Inc., a new corporation whose ownership includes five of the six founding owners of Dragon*Con – but not Kramer.
According to Dragon*Con’s official statement:
Edward Kramer, who has not had any role in managing or organizing the convention since 2000, was offered cash for his shares in the old company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
However, Kramer has not accepted the terms according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
McNeill Stokes, who has represented Kramer in lawsuits against DragonCon/ACE, called the merger a “discriminatory squeeze-out” and said the cash offered for Kramer’s shares was “grossly inadequate.”
Stokes said he expects a legal challenge.
The company had offered three times to buy Kramer’s shares for $500,000, in 2004, 2006 and 2008, according to spokesman Greg Euston.
Kramer remains in jail facing multiple counts of child molestation that have been pending since his arrest in 2000. Although no longer involved in the convention’s management, Kramer continued to earn dividends from his 34 percent ownership in DragonCon/ACE, which led Nancy Collins to call on fans to boycott Dragon*Con. The social media response has finally pressured the con’s leadership to take a step that just last February they publicly claimed was not possible.
[Thanks to Don Cook for the story.]
Sorry I’m so late getting to you, Mike, but the news re DragonCon caught me by surprise and I’ve been playing catch up all day. Thank you for your support of the boycott and willingness to follow a story that some in fandom would rather ignore.
That was my first thought when I read the news release. The news that was just released is premature. The corporation has made offers on Kramer’s shares before and he has always refused them. There has been nothing announced that Kramer has accepted this one. This one was obviously made to deflect the boycott and I resent the corporation would try to deceive people this way. I am still keeping my stance until the “divorce” has been finalized.
I have heard stories that Kramer has sued them for undermining his interest in the corporation. If this is true, I’m surprised the corporation hasn’t countersued for all of his shares because of the damage he has done to it. If the corporation can take the shares away from him without any compensation, that would be poetic justice. Maybe Kramer might settle if he realizes there is a risk he won’t get anything.
Once the corporation does retrieve those shares from Kramer, I hope it considers offering them to the hard-working unpaid staff who help make Dragoncon possible.
@Adrienne Foster: I think the transaction happened, but with Kramer being involuntarily cashed out. The Mary Sue was able to ask a follow-up question of the spokeman. He said, “Pat Henry and four other shareholders exchanged their shares in the old company for 100 percent of the shares in the new company. Ed Kramer, the remaining minority shareholder in the old company, was cashed out. Dragon*Con/ACE Inc. no longer exists.” Squeezing out minority shareholders is a great capitalist tradition. I’ve no idea whether there’s any chance of invalidating the transation under Georgia law. So far, Kramer’s attorney has only complained about the value assigned to the shares.