In Milwaukee, a drama is playing out over control of Everett Smith Group Ltd., an investment firm with holdings including polymers companies Dickten Masch Plastics LLC and Trostel Ltd. According to reports in The Business Journal of Milwaukee, BizTimes.com and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, descendants of the founder of Everett Smith Group Ltd. on July 23 filed a petition in probate court against the the trustees who control the company. The trustees released a statement that said, in part: "It is disappointing that some family members have chosen to take their personal unhappiness with the late Mr. Smith's estate plan to court. Before Mr. Smith died in 1997, he very clearly decided that control of the company he had built over so many years should be left in the hands of trusted associates who would see to it that the company, the people who work for it and the communities that benefit from its presence are preserved, strengthened and grown for future generations, including his descendants." According to the petition, the book value of the company and its subsidiaries was $267 million at the start of 2008, but it has dropped significantly because of the troubles in the auto industry. Ah, the joys of running a family business. I bet this eventually gets settled out of court ... and that family reunions, weddings and holidays will be quite strained for a long time.
Family battles over plastics companies' assets
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