Billy Corgan’s case against Dixie Carter and Impact Ventures went to Chancery Court in Nashville today for the first day in what could be a lengthy trial. Below are highlights from throughout the day, courtesy of PWInsider.
Billy Corgan is not present for the hearing, and is instead represented by his attorney Scott Sims. Dixie Carter, however, is present alongside her lawyer Travis Parham. Corgan’s attorney went first; in a document explaining his need for a restraining order, Billy Corgan claims the company is “insolvent,” meaning they’re unable to create the revenue necessary to repay already outstanding debts. According to Corgan, Dixie Carter never disclosed how indebted the company had become when they were courting him as a potential investor earlier this year.
Corgan first became aware of the company’s debt problem earlier this summer when he made a second investment in July. He only learned of the extent of the situation last month when he was provided a company balance sheet. The Smashing Pumpkins front-man noted that he would have never continued to invest had he been made aware of TNA’s unfortunate monetary situation. Furthermore, Corgan wasn’t aware of the company’s ongoing tax problems and learned about the state-mandated lien by reading The Tennessean newspaper.
Corgan’s lawyer went on to explain that TNA is not currently paying their talent. Dixie Carter is blaming the payroll gap on Corgan’s lawsuit, suggesting that they’re unable to pay because of the restraining order. Corgan has a signed agreement with TNA, and claims Dixie Carter promised him 100% of her stake in the company in exchange for his continued financial assistance. Corgan was made President of TNA, but was subsequently excluded from day-to-day operations by Jason Brown of Aroluxe – another minority shareholder.
Corgan’s lawyer also discussed the WWE’s role in all of this. He revealed that WWE had in fact made a play to purchase TNA’s tape library, however the deal was rescinded and another, much lower number was offered in it’s place. Corgan’s lawyer argues that TNA has made no attempt at assigning a dollar amount to their tape library, and that WWE’s offer is significantly lower than Corgan’s estimation of TNA’s debts and liabilities. An email was reportedly sent by Dixie Carter to WWE officials, claiming she would not sell the promotion until Corgan was removed from the situation.
Steve Sims, Corgan’s lawyer, is through for the day, and Travis Parham takes the stage for the afternoon. Dixie Carter is sitting by, and was said to be displaying absolutely no emotion. Parham accused Corgan of “hatching a scheme” to force Dixie out of ownership. He goes on to say that Corgan’s lawsuit is directly responsible for the current creditor issues, and once again claims its the restraining order keeping Carter from paying her employees.
Parham refers to TNA as a “valuable, well known commodity,” and notes that Carter owns 92.5% of the company. Anthem owns 2% and Aroluxe owns 5%. He went on to argue that Corgan provided a loan that could then be transferred to equity. He noted that when Corgan lent more back in July he had the right to convert the loan to 12.5 % interest, but did not. He says that TNA is not insolvent, and says Corgan’s ongoing loans to TNA were an “opportunistic way to benefit himself.” He notes that TNA has offered to refinance the loan and pay Corgan what he’s owned, however Corgan’s only interested in the 92.5% ownership he claims Dixie promised him. Furthermore, Parham suggests that Billy Corgan has not only been compensated, but “paid very well.”
TNA denies that any financial details and records were ever kept from Corgan, and instead suggest that he’s merely attempting to cause the company to default on the original agreement. In regards to the agreement itself, Parham say that the contract between Carter and Corgan is actually illegal in the state of Tennessee. TNA claims the tax lien against them is “an accounting mistake.” Once again, TNA lawyers said that Carter was more than willing to pay Corgan what he’s owed. Furthermore, lawyers from 2% shareholding Anthem stepped forward, claiming they would also honor Corgan’s original deal minus fees owed.
The day concluded with TNA lawyers claiming Billy Corgan’s suit is “predatory lending at it’s worst.” We will return with more updates from Chancery Court in Nashville later this week as they become available.
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