Man Buys $130 Million Coca Cola Stock At Estate Sale
Tony Marohn’s purchase of an antique Palmer Union Oil Co stock certificate at an estate sale in 2008 may soon be regarded as one of the greatest financial decisions of all time, that’s because it could be worth $130 million by way of Coca-Cola shares.
After purchasing the stock Marohn traced Palmer Union Oil back to Coca-Cola by way of long-forgotten companies that included Petrocarbon Chemicals and Taylor Wine Co.
Marohn passed away in 2010 but his family decided to take up his legal battle against Coca-Cola, claiming that they are now entitled to 1.8 million shares of the soft-drink maker.
The family is dealing with a skeptical Delaware Chancery Court judge who said at a hearing on January 31:
“This is a new version of the Beverly Hillbillies.”
In a strange turn of events if the court eventually rules in the families favor they will become the largest non-institutional investors in Coca-Cola.
In a statement on Thursday Coca-Cola said:
“The claim of Mr. Marohn’s estate that it is entitled to millions of dollars in Coca-Cola stock – based on a canceled stock certificate for a long-defunct oil company purchased at an estate sale – is meritless and unfair to the Company’s millions of legitimate shareholders.”
Unlike some claims of this kind the bank involved in the transaction had actually endorsed the 1,625 shares of Palmer Union Oil and the transferee section was left blank and filled in my Mr. Marohn.
This wouldn’t be the first time a court has upheld a persons right to stock after they filled out the transferee section of the certificate and became the bearer of that stock.
If you want to follow the case it’s listed under:
In Re Shares of Common Stock of the Coca-Cola Company, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 5156.