Many families feud, and the blood that goes bad between members of stratospherically rich families sometimes gets ugly as it leaks into the public eye. Indeed, there are numerous popular television shows, such as “Succession,” that depict, albeit in a fictionalized manner, just how fraught family relationships can become when it comes to divvying up money and power, even and perhaps most especially when there’s plenty of dough for everyone.
For the last handful of years, Austria-born and Canada-based multibillionaire Frank Stronach, octogenarian founder of Magna International, one of the largest automotive parts manufacturers in North America, and his 50-something year old daughter Belinda Stronach were locked in a tense legal tussle over control of one of the family’s other companies, The Stronach Group. Among TSG’s other holdings, the Aurora, Canada-based entertainment, gaming, real estate and horse racing conglomerate owns some of America’s most well-known racetracks, including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., and the historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., where the prestigious Preakness Stakes have been held on the third Saturday of May since 1870.
Frank resigned as trustee of The Stronach Group in 2013 when he ran for public office in his native Austria. Then, in October of 2018, his short-lived Austrian political career in the rear view mirror, he along with his also Austrian-born wife, Elfiede Sallmutter, filed a $416 million lawsuit in October 2018 against their daughter, along with her two children, with claims of gross mismanagement and alleged misuse of corporate monies to fund profligate lifestyles and self-serving investments.
Though he formally resigned as trustee of TSG, Frank’s lawsuit asserts he was to retain de facto control of the company and could resume his role as trustee upon demand. No shrinking violet, Belinda responded to the allegations with claims her father had lost $800 million on what one report referred to as “several ill-advised ventures,” and countersued for $32.8 million, asking that she be left in charge of TSG. After a couple of years of squabbling and finger pointing, Frank and Belinda settled the matter out of court about a year ago, with Belinda taking full control of The Stronach Group. Imagine what the holidays are like at the Stronaches nowadays!
Free of the hassles and headaches of her parents’ half-billion dollar lawsuit, Toronto-based Belinda quickly turned her real estate attentions toward Los Angeles, where tax records show she’s dropped $16.25 million on a newly built midcentury-inspired home in the fashionable (and forbiddingly expensive) Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills. Newly completed and measuring in at nearly 7,500 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms plus two powder rooms and a mountaintop view over the crystalline swimming pool, the low-slung single-story residence was developed and built by powerhouse Compass agent Sally Forster Jones, who also held the listing for the property. Safir Shamsi at Rodeo Realty represented Stronach in the deal.