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Lawsuit Alleges ‘Fraudulent Coup’ at Former ‘Sports Illustrated’ Publisher

Apr 13, 2024

Another chapter in the tumultuous history of the media company that, until last month, published Sports Illustrated was detailed in a lawsuit filed in Delaware last week.

The plaintiffs are James Heckman and William Sornsin, cofounders of The Arena Group, which until January published SI under a license from Authentic Brands Group. They allege that Ross Levinsohn, who was ousted as Arena CEO late last year, “enacted a fraudulent coup” to seize control of Arena in the summer of 2020, a year after Arena (then known as Maven) entered into a 10-year, $150 million deal licensing deal with Authentic.

“Once Levinsohn took control of Arena, he intentionally mismanaged Arena and destroyed its value to set up a change-of-control transaction to enrich himself,” the complaint states. “In so doing, Levinsohn violated his fiduciary duties and acted in bad faith by prioritizing his self-interest above the Company’s.”

Source: Front Office Sports

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