Canadian auto parts tycoon Frank Stronach, pictured on September 29, 2013 during an election campaign event in his native Austria
Ottawa (AFP) - Canadian auto parts tycoon Frank Stronach has filed suit against his daughter, seeking Can$520 million (US$420 million) in an escalating dispute over the family fortune, court officials confirmed Thursday.
Stronach, 86, alleges that his daughter Belinda – who heads The Stronach Group holding company – and other executives mismanaged the family fortune and froze him out of the business he built over six decades.
The elder Stronach, a native of Austria, founded Magna International Inc in 1957 after emigrating to Canada and built it into the world’s largest auto parts supplier.
The family holding company now controls more than 250 businesses including real estate and horse racing tracks.
Stronach relinquished control of Magna International y in 2010 in a controversial Can$863 million buyout, and left Canada in 2013 to run for political office in his native Austria.
He returned the following year.
Chairman and CEO of The Stronach Group Belinda Stronach (R) with the company's vice president Nicole Walker (L) at the Preakness Stakes on May 19, 2018
During his absence, according to a statement of claim cited by the Globe and Mail, Belinda Stronach and other executives “seriously neglected the business of The Stronach Group and abused their positions of authority. They did so in order to conceal significant cash-flow issues, and to favor their own personal interests.”
The lawsuit alleges that “corporate documents were falsified as part of a scheme … to limit or eliminate Frank’s role in running the Stronach family business.”
The allegations have not been tested in court.
“Family relationships within a business can be challenging,” Belinda Stronach said in a statement. “My children and I love my father. However, his allegations are untrue and we will be responding formally to the statement of claim in the normal course of the court process.”