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KAZARIAN FILES $3.2 BILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST SUNBEAM-OSTER PARTNERS

 PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul B. Kazarian, former chairman, CEO, principal financial officer and president of Sunbeam- Oster Co. (NYSE: SOC), today filed a $3.2 billion lawsuit in Rhode Island Superior Court against his Sunbeam investment partners, Mutual Series Funds and Steinhardt Partners.
 The 11-count suit alleges a conspiracy to oust Kazarian from his Sunbeam-Oster positions, deprive him and his business entities of rightful investment earnings and smear his reputation. A jury trial was demanded.
 It alleges the defendants -- conspiring with a small group of Sunbeam-Oster executives and motivated by greed and malice -- engaged in abusive activities for more than a year to remove Kazarian and his business entities as obstacles to the defendants' illegal use of Sunbeam-Oster for their personal gain.
 It alleges the defendants engaged in activities to steal up to billions of dollars in bargained-for profits, via a complex restructuring of partnership interests, then threatened and coerced Kazarian in order to obtain economic advantage and gain.
 It alleges the defendants orchestrated a smear campaign through the media to publicly humiliate, slander, libel and defame Kazarian's personal and business reputation.
 Kazarian founded Japonica Partners, L.P., in 1987 to engage in investments. He owns 99 percent of Japonica and is the sole stockholder of PBK Ltd., which has sole authority to manage Japonica's affairs. In 1990, Japonica joined two partnership groups -- Mutual Series Funds and Steinhardt Partners -- to create a limited partnership (Sunbeam-Oster Equities, L.P.) to buy out of federal bankruptcy proceedings the assets of Allegheny International, Inc., which became Sunbeam-Oster.
 Under Kazarian's leadership, Sunbeam-Oster's profits and sales soared. Operating income rose from a 1990 loss of $95.3 million to a profit of $123.4 million in 1992. Over that time, sales increased more than $108.3 million and more than $1.2 billion in wealth was created for investors and public shareholders. Its board rewarded Kazarian with a bonus of nearly $1 million on Dec. 30, 1992, up 60 percent from 1991.
 Kazarian was ousted on Jan. 9, 1993, the suit alleges, for among other things, refusing to bow to pressure by Mutual Series and Steinhardt Partners, who "regularly sought economic gains for themselves contrary to their fiduciary duties to Sunbeam," and, in the defendants own words, gain "opportunities for themselves and their friends."
 The suit alleges the defendants, some on the Sunbeam-Oster board, initiated the ouster by fabricating reasons and providing false and misleading information about Kazarian to the board. They then sought to threaten and coerce Kazarian and his business entities to accept a substantially reduced profit interest in SOE and Japonica, as well as his removal from various controlling positions.
 The defendants subsequently took actions to remove Kazarian from the Sunbeam-Oster board, to remove him as general partner of the controlling partnership, to challenge PBK Ltd.'s exclusive control of Japonica, and to dissolve Japonica itself.
 A campaign of deception to publicly defame and slander Kazarian was then launched, the lawsuit alleges, with the defendants providing the media with numerous false and misleading statements about Kazarian and his removal, and encouraging the repeated publication of those statements.
 For tortiously interfering with the contractual relationships in the partnership agreement which revived Sunbeam-Oster from bankruptcy and successfully took the company public, Kazarian and his entities seek $2.2 billion in general and special damages.
 For tortiously interfering with Kazarian's contractual relationships with Sunbeam-Oster to provide strategic financial advisor services, $53 million special damages.
 For causing "malicious, false and defamatory statements" to be publicized and causing irreparable harm to Kazarian's personal and business reputation, the suit seeks $1 billion in damages.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Paul B. Kazarian, 401-831-0054; or Richard E. Nicolazzo of Nicolazzo & Associates, 617-227-4150/
 (SOC)


CO: Sunbeam-Oster ST: Rhode Island IN: SU:

DD -- NE014 -- 5064 06/03/93 14:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 3, 1993
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