Update: Newsarama has received an official statement saying in no uncertain terms that Ed Kramer is completely out. Here's the statement from the newly formed Dragon Con, Inc.
"In this merger, Dragon Con, Inc., replaces the old company, Dragon*Con/ACE Inc. Pat Henry and four other shareholders exchanged their shares in the old company for 100 percent of the shares in the new company. Ed Kramer, the remaining minority shareholder in the old company, was cashed out. Dragon*Con/ACE Inc. no longer exists.
As a consequence of this merger, Mr. Kramer no longer has any interest, financial or otherwise, in Dragon Con."
Original Story: Dragon*Con, Atlanta's staple pop culture convention, has had a dark cloud hovering over it for years with the association with Ed Kramer, co-founder and suspect in several cases of child molestation. Hopefully they can now move on, as they've removed him from the shareholders committee. In other words, while Kramer was removed from the board of directors more than a decade ago, he still profited from the convention itself. As of Monday, July 8th, that is no longer a concern.
Announced in a press release on their website and facebook page, Dragon*Con, Inc is the new name of the company, removing Kramer's organization entirely. While Kramer was bought out, he will no longer benefit in any way from the convention's yearly earnings.
Many comic book creators have come out directly against the convention until Kramer's removal - meaning the convention could see a stronger presence from the comic book community this year than in recent years past.
Under Georgia business law, a company cannot dissolve while a member is under legal investigation. With this buyout, Kramer finally took a settlement, and they could dissolve properly and legitimately. Dragon*Con went under serious boycott threats earlier this year when it came to light that Kramer still gained a percentage from the con, earning up to a supposed $150,000. While terms of the settlement are under confidentiality, it seems, for now, that Kramer will no longer accept any share from the con's financial gain.
We have reached out to Dragon*Con for clarification and an explicit statement to that end, and will update this story as soon as we receive it.
The full Press Release on Dragon*Con's Facebook page:
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.
For more information on Dragon*Con, go to www.dragoncon.org.
Newsarama Editor Lucas Siegel also contributed to this article