Randy Lerner Wins Settlement Returning $40 Million Investment

August 9, 2011

Multi-sports team acquirer Randy Lerner, owner of the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns, has won a court order for the return of the remainder of his $40 million investment in a hedge fund that had refused to say where the money was invested.

Lerner’s funds were improperly refused to be returned by Paige Capital Management, a corporation known for buying faltering companies amd was kept for selfish reasons for generating management fees, Delaware Chancery Court, Judge Leo Strine concluded.

“I order a remedy requiring the immediate return” of all Lerner’s capital invested in the fund along with interest tied to the delay in handing over the funds, Strine said in 100-page ruling. The fund is run by Michele Paige, a former investment manager for billionaire Carl Icahn along with her husband, Christopher Paige.

Lerner is a former chairman of financial services company MBNA Corp. who also owns the English Premier League soccer club Aston Villa, rebuffed a March offer by the Paiges to settle the case for about $3 million, according to court filings.

Lerner, with a fortune estimated at more than $1 billion by Forbes magazine last year, has been forced to inject $326 million into the Birmingham-based Aston Villa team since he bought it in 2006, according to filings with English regulators.