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Court settlement ends family business feud

By Giulia Cambieri

A three-year feud within the Griffin family, which controls US agriculture and land management firm Alico, has come to an end thanks to a court agreement.

The dispute stems from 2008, when family member Baxter Troutman accused his uncle John Alexander, the company’s chairman, and his cousin JD Alexander of mismanaging the Florida-based family business by pursuing a merger with another family firm.

However, by signing the settlement on 1 April, he agreed to drop all claims. According to the Associated Press, Troutman said he ended the case to protect the interests of Alico’s shareholders.

He also claimed that negotiations with the two Alexanders started a few months ago – with Troutman promising to drop the lawsuit if JD Alexander resigned as president and chief executive of Atlantic Blue Group, the company that controls Alico. Alexander effectively stepped down in mid-March, when he was appointed Alico’s chief executive.

The company, which in the past was controlled by Troutman and JD Alexander’s grandfather Ben Hill Griffin, had revenues of $98.6 million (€74 million) in 2011.

Alico didn't respond to requests for comment. 

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