Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Koch's Houston Expansion Part of Brotherly Warfare?

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Koch's Houston Expansion Part of Brotherly Warfare?

Article excerpt

WICHITA (AP) -- Koch Industries' recent decision to expand operations in Houston is a message to Kansas officials: stop heaping adulation on the company chairman's estranged brother, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The Wichita-based company announced earlier this month that it was expanding its chemical and capital services in Houston by hiring 375 more people over the next four years. Koch Industries -- the nation's second-largest privately-held company -- is involved in the oil and gas industry.

Charles Koch, 61, chairman and chief executive of the company, has been estranged from his brother Bill for several years. Bill, 56, has filed numerous lawsuits against Charles and the company, including one still pending that seeks $1 billion. Bill claims that Koch officials, including his twin brother David and his older brother Charles, conspired to defraud him and other stockholders out of hundreds of millions of dollars when they bought out the minority interest in the company in 1983. The buyout came after Bill attempted to seize control of the company in 1980, failed and was fired by Charles. Bill's share of the proceeds was $470 million, money that has bankrolled numerous business ventures, including his successful bid for sailing's prestigious America's Cup and homes in New York, Boston and Palm Beach, Fla. U.S. District Senior Judge Sam Crow has yet to rule on a Koch Industries' motion, filed in October of 1993, to dismiss the case. Although they won't speak publicly, Koch executives are worried that the friendly relationship that Bill seems to have with Attorney General Carla Stovall could affect Stovall's judgment on future legal matters involving Koch Industries, The Eagle reported. Jay Rosser, a spokesman for Koch Industries, told The Associated Press that he could not comment on The Eagle's story. But he said the company has expressed concerns about expanding in Wichita because of the difficultly in recruiting qualified employees and the cost and availability of air service. …

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