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Reading International opposes appointment of temporary trustee in family dispute


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Reading International opposes appointment of temporary trustee in family dispute

The California Superior Court agreed to appoint a temporary trustee ad litem following a petition by James Cotter Jr. in relation to a lawsuit regarding the sale of Reading International Inc. Class B voting-stock owned, before his death, by James Cotter Sr., the company's founder, former chairman and CEO.

The court decided to appoint a temporary trustee ad litem with the narrow and specific authority to obtain offers to buy the stock in the voting trust, but not to exercise any other powers without court approval, specifically the sale of the company or any other powers possessed by the trustees, according to a Feb. 23 news release.

The shares represent more than 66% of the outstanding voting power of the company. Reading International, however, opposed the appointment after arguing that it is not in the best interest of the company or the stockholders.

Additionally, the company's board reiterated its position that it believes the independent pursuit of company's current business plan would be beneficial and a sale of the company at this time would not be in the best interests of the stockholders generally.

Earlier this month, Reading International won the dismissal of claims against certain directors of the company. On Dec. 28, 2017, Gonzalez dismissed all derivative claims relating to the unsolicited indication of interest made by Patton Vision LLC to buy all of Reading International's outstanding stock of the company.

In 2015, James Cotter Jr., who was terminated as president and CEO of Reading International, sued the board amid his family dispute with his sisters Margaret and current interim CEO Ellen, who are both serving as directors.