Richest Aussie bids to end family feud

AFP-JIJI

Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has offered to end a messy legal battle with two of her children for control of a multibillion-dollar family trust by appointing a co-trustee, reports said Monday.

Two of Rinehart’s four children — John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart — are embroiled in a court case against their mother to have her removed as trustee of the trust established by their grandfather.

Gina Rinehart’s lawyer, David Russell, told the Supreme Court on Monday that the mining mogul had written a letter to the two children in hopes of ending the long-running litigation, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.

Russell said the open letter states that “the first defendant would be willing to appoint a co-trustee” to the family trust.

New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin said the offer was a “very big step” by Rinehart, whom business magazine BRW estimated in May to be worth 22.02 billion Australian dollars ($19.5 billion).

The protracted row stems from a family trust set up by Gina Rinehart’s father, the late Lang Hancock, in 1988 with his four grandchildren as the beneficiaries.