In a rather surprising move, the organizers of well known Atlanta convention Dragon*Con have announced that they have bought out the shares of controversial co-founder Ed Kramer. In a statement that makes judicial use of spacing and asterisks, the board of the company now called Dragon Con, Inc. have both transferred the ownership of the convention (stylized Dragon*Con) to a new legal entity and in the process bought out Kramer's shares for an undisclosed sum.
Kramer has multiple times been accused of child molestation with the most recent and active charges dating to January of this year. Though Dragon*Con organizers have often noted publicly that Kramer has not been associated with the show since 2000, his ownership stake in the company meant that he still received a portion of the show's proceeds which he could use to help pay for legal expenses. This prompted calls for boycotts of the show – known for its lively cosplay scene and parade – by notable science fiction writer Nancy A. Collins and other members of the community.
The other board members had said in the past that Kramer received profits from the show despite their desires otherwise, but today's buyout announcement is the company's attempt to move beyond their association once and for all.
Read the official press release below, and stay tuned for more new and response to Dragon*Con's future on CBR.
DRAGON CON, INC. REPLACES DRAGON CON / ACE, INC.
Dragon Con will Continue the Agreements With Hotels, Guests and Performers.
ATLANTA, July 8, 2013 – The Board of Directors and Shareholders of Dragon Con / ACE, Inc., producer of Dragon*Con, Atlanta's internationally known pop culture, fantasy and sci-fi convention, have agreed to merge the company into Dragon Con, Inc. (Dragon Con) in a cash-out merger.
Led by Pat Henry, David Cody and Robert Dennis, ownership of Dragon Con includes five of the six founding owners of Dragon Con / ACE (the old Dragon Con). The effective date of the merger is July 8, 2013.
Edward Kramer, who has not had any role in managing or organizing the convention since 2000, was offered cash for his shares in the old company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"This decision only affects the ownership of the old Dragon Con," said Pat Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Con. "Our members and others who attend Dragon*Con 2013 will experience the same fantastic convention they have come to expect from us."
Dragon Con will continue the agreements with each of the host and overflow hotels associated with the convention as well as all of the guests and performers scheduled to appear at this year's event, either as is or with amendments recognizing Dragon Con as owner.
Dragon*Con is the largest pop culture convention featuring comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming. Held each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Dragon*Con attracted more than 52,000 attendees in 2012. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org.