Activist investor Barry Rosenstein recent purchase of $147 million East Hampton mansion has now generated a multimillion dollar legal battle, the NY Post reports.
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Rosenstein, founder of hedge fund Jana Partners, bought the 18-acre beachfront property in May from the estates of Christopher H. Browne, and his boyfriend, architect Andrew Gordon.
Now Corcoran is suing for $8.82 million in lost commission and damages, claiming it was hired as the broker but was cut out of the deal.
The suit was filed on Wednesday against the estates, three trustees and Rosenstein, in Suffolk County, alleging that Corcoran “structured the deal and was awarded the listing three months before the sale, but was excluded from the transaction.” But the sellers, they say, proceeded to negotiate in secret with Rosenstein.”
The suit also claims Corcoran president Pam Liebman and his top broker, Tim Davis, met with the trustees in January and were told they “had been selected to exclusively market” the property for $150 million.
In March, Rosenstein offered $75 million, and afterwards $125 million, directly to the estates attorney, and was refused.
According to the suit, Corcoran got an offer from another purchaser for $155 million, but “the defendants privately negotiated a sale of the premises to Rosenstein for $147 million.”
The suit also alleges Rosenstein “conspired with the Estate representatives” to avoid the brokerage fee.
A spokesperson for Rosenstein said, “This dispute is between the sellers and a broker claiming to represent them. Mr. Rosenstein, as the buyer, should not be a party to the complaint, and we are confident the court will see it that way.”