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Ruling heralds mining break-up

SoVaNow.com / October 03, 2012
The state Supreme Court last week rejected efforts by a Buckingham County mining operation to stop liquidation proceedings, pending an appeal of a lower court decision which was issued in August. The case involves a minority owner of the company, Boyd Colgate, who resides in Chase City.

The high court left intact the liquidation proceedings that had been ordered earlier last month by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge days after she had found that corporate leaders of the Disthene Group, Inc. had oppressed minority shareholders.

Last Tuesday’s three paragraph order of the Supreme Court left intact liquidation proceedings, allowing receivers appointed by the lower court to proceed with efforts to assess Disthene’s value and to eventually sell off its assets, believed to be in excess of $200 million.

Three minority stockholders had sued Disthene arguing that the Dixon family of Buckingham, who had operated the Kyanite Mining Corporation which is owned by Disthene, had spent lavishly on themselves while depressing stock values and ignoring the interest of minority owners in the company.

In addition to the kyanite mining operation in Buckingham County, Disthene owns nearly 30,000 acres of forestland and the Cavalier Hotel complex in Virginia Beach.

Disthene is appealing the lower court decision. Any sale of assets valued at more than $1 million would have to be approved by the Fairfax judge who issued the dissolution order last month.

Another circuit court judge has ordered Gene B. Dixon, Jr. and his son to appear before him next month to show why they are not in violation of a settlement agreement which involves some stock transfers and payments due to minority interests.

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