Stan Lee settles POW! Entertainment legal feud
Stan Lee has reached an agreement ending a legal dispute with two former shareholders of POW! Entertainment that threatened the future of his company, Hollywood Esq. reports. The terms of the deal are confidential.
POW! was formed in 2001 following Lee’s departure from bankrupt dot-com Stan Lee Media, and went public three years later through a reverse merger with Arturion Entertainment, a shell corporation controlled by public relations consultant Valerie Barth and UltaVision Inc. director Ron Sandman.
All seemed to go well, with Barth even working as Lee’s PR representative (she asserts she was instrumental in the creator receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame). But then last year POW! sued Barth and Sandman for breach of contract and fraud; the two struck back in May with a counterclaim accusing Lee and POW! executives Gil Champion and Arthur Lieberman (who passed away May 1) of conspiring to inflate the worth of the media company at the time of the reverse merger. They alleged Lee and his partners misrepresented POW!’s assets and provided documents demonstrating that the company controlled Lee’s intellectual property, including his name and likeness, and downplayed threats of litigation. (That same intellectual property forms the core of Lee’s complicated ongoing legal fight with Stan Lee Media.) In addition to $3.6 million in compensatory damages, Barth and Sandman sought the removal of POW!’s board of directors, and the transfer of shares.
According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, POW! Entertainment generated just $24,628 in net income in 2011; the previous year, the company saw a $1.1 million net loss.