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Jilted exec sues former partners over Fox Mobile deal

$100 million suit claims father-son team cut a third partner out of acquisition deal

A business executive is suing his former partners for ditching him.

This week, Aidan Foley, CEO of the business services company AF Double Eagle Inc., filed a $100 million suit against his ex-partners, father-son duo Elliot and Jason Aintabi, for jilting him out of a deal to acquire Fox Mobile Group from News Corp.

According to the complaint, in 2009, executives at Fox Mobile contacted Foley about News Corp.’s plans to sell the group and invited him to bid on it. Foley signed a nondisclosure agreement with News Corp. to participate in the confidential acquisition process, and he started scouting for investors. He soon partnered with the Aintabis, who signed an agreement with Foley intended to protect Double Eagle’s right to purchase Fox Mobile and disallowing the Aintabis from purchasing Fox Mobile on their own. The Aintabis promised to work on the deal with Foley and install him as Fox Mobile’s CEO upon acquisition.

But in late 2010, the Aintabis cut off contact with Foley and formed their own company, Jesta Group, which according to Foley allowed them to “evade the legal liability” of the agreement they had signed. Foley claims the Aintabis “strung [him] along for months to buy time for them to collect the confidential information they needed—e.g., the due diligence, the business plan and contacts—to close the deal without [him].”

For more recent InsideCounsel coverage related to acquisitions, read:

Anheuser-Busch, DOJ reach agreement over Grupo Modelo acquisition

Cheat Sheet: What GCs need to know about government merger enforcement trends

“E-Merging”: Mergers and acquisitions in today’s era of big data

A records management checklist for mergers and acquisitions

Ashley Post

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