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Estate battle divides Marvin Davis' survivors

March 19, 2009|BLOOMBERG NEWS

Nancy Davis, daughter of the late Los Angeles billionaire Marvin Davis, alleges that her brother Gregg cheated his siblings and mother out of millions of dollars by low-balling the value of the family oil company in a forced bankruptcy sale.

Gregg Davis, 45, conspired with a New York investment bank and others to acquire Davis Petroleum Corp. for $150 million in 2006 when it was worth as much as $1 billion, Nancy Davis, 51, said in a complaint that she has asked a federal judge in Houston for permission to file.

The targets of her complaint have asked the court to reject her bid to sue them. A judge has yet to rule on the matter.

Davis Petroleum was acquired out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court by investment bank Evercore Partners Inc., Sankaty Advisors and Los Angeles-based Red Mountain Capital Partners.

They are named as defendants along with Gregg Davis and Willem Mesdag, who was Marvin Davis' financial advisor and head of the Los Angeles office of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

"We deny the allegations that she's made. We believe she's completely wrong," said Bruce Ruzinsky, a lawyer for Gregg Davis.

Chuck Dohrenwend, a spokesman for Evercore, founded by former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, declined to comment. Alex Stanton, a spokesman for Sankaty, an affiliate of private equity firm Bain Capital, also declined to comment, as did William Greendyke, a lawyer for Mesdag and Red Mountain in Dallas. Mesdag didn't return a call seeking comment.

Marvin Davis died at 79 in September 2004 with a fortune of $5.8 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

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