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Rinehart offers olive branch in family wealth dispute

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart has offered an olive branch to her two children that are taking civil court action against her regarding the management of the family wealth and controlling shares in the family business.
Gina Rinehart

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart has offered an olive branch to her two children that are taking civil court action against her regarding the management of the family wealth and controlling shares in the family business.

In an open letter to siblings John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart, the businesswoman – who at an estimated net worth of AUS$22 billion (€14.7 billion) is the country’s richest woman – said she was willing to appoint a co-trustee to the family trust.

The children have alleged she is unfit to head the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, established by their grandfather in 1988, and have been pursuing litigation to replace her as the sole trustee.

Worth an estimated AUS$4.2 billion, the trust holds a quarter of the voting shares of mining company Hancock Prospecting – the family business Rinehart inherited from her father.

Rinehart’s letter was written in the hope the siblings’ litigation would be settled, her lawyer told the New South Wales Supreme Court. It proposed Hancock be put forth as an alternative trustee along with businessman Bruce Carter.

Hancock’s lawyer, Christopher Withers, has said the children would need to take time to consider the offer.

Rinehart has two other children, Ginia, who supports her mother and is set to be a defendant in the civil court case, and Hope Rinehart Welker, who withdrew from the legal action against her mother following a financial settlement earlier this year.

The start date for the civil trial is currently set for October 1. 

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