Warner Music Group chief beats rap

Edgar Bronfman Jr. scores major victory in lawsuit

Edgar Bronfman Jr. has scored a major victory against Dick Snyder, the former Simon & Schuster CEO who had claimed Bronfman owed him $100 million for a role Snyder allegedly played in the buyout of Warner Music Group.

A court Tuesday dismissed the remaining portions of a lawsuit Snyder filed in April 2007 and ordered Snyder to pay certain court costs.

Snyder claimed he had a gentleman's agreement with Bronfman whereby he'd receive a commission for vetting potentially lucrative deals for Bronfman.

At the time, Bronfman was running his Lexa Partners private equity firm. Bronfman and Snyder worked in adjacent offices, and Snyder says he suggested an acquisition of Columbia House, and other deals that never happened, to Bronfman.

"Dick Snyder lost his job with Simon & Schuster and Edgar said, 'If you want a place to hang your hat, feel free,' " said Bronfman's attorney, Orin Snyder of the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

After Bronfman and a group of investors bought WMG from Time Warner for $2.6 billion, Snyder said he suggested WMG merge with competing music company EMI, another deal that never happened.

About three years later, Snyder demanded that Bronfman compensate him with $100 million, payment he said he was owed for helping to close the WMG purchase.

Orin Snyder said that Dick Snyder (no relation) launched his 2007 lawsuit "with great fanfare, but he has ended up in repudiation with less than nothing." The attorney said Bronfman had vowed to fight the lawsuit to its conclusion because he deemed it "frivolous and opportunistic."

"What the court basically said is that people like Dick Snyder can't claim an important piece of a large transaction without a signed contract," Orin Snyder said. "The court slammed the door on these kinds of lawsuits."
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