Patrick Dempsey splits from Tully’s partner

Patrick Dempsey splits from Tully’s partner

Actor alleges in lawsuit that Michael Avenatti improperly borrowed against chain’s assets

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey has split from his partner in the acquisition of Tully’s Coffee Shops, parent company Global Baristas LLC said Friday.

In a statement, Dempsey said he has dissolved his business relationship with Michael Avenatti and Global Baristas, which acquired the Seattle-based coffee shop chain in a deal that closed in June.

The move follows reports that the actor sued Avenatti, a California attorney who partnered with Dempsey on the Tully’s deal, in King County Superior Court in Washington state on Aug. 20. In the lawsuit, Dempsey reportedly charged Avenatti of not fully financing the chain as promised, instead borrowing against Tully’s assets without his knowledge.

The actor reportedly stated in the lawsuit that he played the role of buyer, representing Global Baristas in the acquisition, though he contributed no money to the deal. Funding and working capital were to be provided by Avenatti, Dempsey claimed.

Instead, Avenatti allegedly borrowed $2 million for working capital at an “exorbitant” interest rate of 15 percent annually without telling Dempsey, the actor charged.

In the statement issued Friday, Dempsey said the dispute had been resolved “to the satisfaction of all concerned.”

“I am happy that we have resolved our differences and have put this behind us, and I know we each wish the other well in our respective future endeavors,” Dempsey said. “Although Michael and I have dissolved our business relationship, I am happy to have been a part of the effort that brought awareness to the Tully’s brand. I wish the company and Michael all the best.”

In a joint statement with Dempsey, Avenatti did not comment on the charges, saying only, “The management team at Tully’s is extraordinary and the future for the company has never been brighter. Great things are on the horizon for Tully’s and Seattle.”

In January, Global Baristas, representing an investor group, agreed to pay about $9.15 million for the assets of Tully’s coffee shop operator TC Global Inc.

At the time, TC Global operated about 47 Tully’s locations in Washington and California. Another 70 units were licensed or franchised. The company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2012, closing 19 unprofitable locations. Global Baristas currently has 48 company-owned and 55 franchised or licensed locations.

The sale of TC Global did not impact the wholesale and online Tully’s Coffee business and brand, which are owned by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.

This article has been revised to reflect the following update:

Update: Aug. 27, 2013  The number of units Tully's currently operates has been updated.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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