When the titans of industry collide, it's usually over buying and selling companies. But two of the richest men in the country are facing off in court...over jet fuel.
Rob Maguire built up Maguire Properties into a commercial real estate giant which shaped the LA skyline. He left last year as profits tumbled, but he remains the company's largest shareholder.
David Murdock is getting ready to take Dole public to raise cash, as his Castle & Cooke development company suffers in this economy.
Both men own aviation operations at Van Nuys Airport, the busiest general aviation airport in the country, and second only to Teterboro in corporate traffic. Maguire Aviation is one of four Fixed Based Operators here, or FBOs, which usually pay the airport a premium for the right to sell jet fuel to outside aircraft. Maguire is now suing Murdock's Castle & Cooke aviation for allegedly posing as an FBO and selling millions of gallons of fuel, sales that rightfully belong to Maguire and other legitimate operations.
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"They've been running kind of like a gypsy FBO for years and siphoning off a big portion of fuel revenue," Rob Maguire told me in an exclusive interview. "You're advertising as an FBO, which is illegal!" He says he has ads and photos of out of state airplanes being fueled at Castle & Cooke to prove his case.