August 25, 2013

Dempsey, lawyer dissolve Tully's partnership

The two say their legal dispute over the coffee chain has been settled 'to the satisfaction of all concerned.'

The Associated Press

SEATTLE - Actor Patrick Dempsey and his business partner in the venture that acquired Tully's Coffee out of bankruptcy have dissolved their partnership.

click image to enlarge

Patrick Dempsey greets fans in Mechanic Falls during the Dempsey Challenge on Oct. 9, 2011. He was the public face of the successful bid for Tully’s Coffee this year.

2011 Telegram file photo/Derek Davis

In a joint statement late Friday, the "Grey's Anatomy" star and California lawyer Michael Avenatti said their legal dispute has been "fully resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned."

Dubbed "McDreamy" on the TV hospital drama, Dempsey was the public face of the successful bid. He said Friday he was "happy to have been a part of the effort that brought awareness to the Tully's brand."

Court documents filed Aug. 20 in Dempsey's lawsuit against Avenatti in King County Superior Court said the lawyer initially was the sole owner of Global Baristas LLC. The documents say Dempsey joined Global Baristas a short time later. The ownership group prevailed against other bidders including Starbucks in an auction last January that included more than 40 Puget Sound-area Tully's stores.

In the court papers, Dempsey said his decision to participate in Global Baristas was based, in part, on his understanding that Avenatti was committing sufficient cash to both fund the acquisition and provide working capital to operate the stores. The deal finally closed June 30.

Instead, Dempsey alleged that Avenatti used Global Baristas to borrow $2 million for working capital without telling him.

In the joint statement, Dempsey said he wished "the Company and Michael all the best" and added, "I am happy that we have resolved our differences and have put this behind us."

Avenatti, "with other investors and the management team, will be moving forward with Tully's, a great company with a great product," Avenatti spokeswoman Suzy Quinn said.

A report on the dispute was first carried in The Seattle Times.

The successful Tully's bid from Global Baristas was for about $9.2 million.

After the auction, Dempsey made an appearance at a Tully's near Pike Place Market, shaking hands with workers and greeting customers before visiting other stores.

Previous Tully's owner TC Global Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, citing lease obligations and underperforming stores.

Dempsey was born in Lewiston and grew up in Buckfield, Maine. He has returned to Lewiston in the past to help raise money for cancer victims through the Dempsey Challenge, a weekend of running, walking and cycling events.

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