EUGENE, OR - John Murphy, CEO and co-owner of Murphy Co., a manufacturer of hardwood plywood and other wood products, field a lawsuit against three relatives alleging that they are breaking the terms of a 2001 buy/sell agreement.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 21, against Peter Murphy Jr., 76; Dennis Murphy, 74; and Edward Murphy 74, contends that the trio has attempted to sell shares and possibly the entire company. According to the Register Guard, none of the three men is active in the day-to-day operations of the company. Peter Murphy reportedly ran the company from 1974 to 1996 and Dennis Murphy worked for the company in the mid-1970s.
The Register Guard reported that the lawsuit seeks to stop Peter Murphy from selling his stock to Dennis and Edward and to stop all three from selling their shares or the entire company. The newspaper noted that John, Peter and Dennis Murphy each own 28.5 of the company's shares and Edward Murphy, who never worked at the company, owns 14.3 percent.
While the terms of the amended buy/sell agreement allow one of the owners to sell his shares upon reaching the age of 76, it also stipulates that the qualifying owner must first offer his shares to the company.
Murphy Plywood was founded more than 100 years ago. The company announced in January that it would construct three buildings totaling approximately 60,000 square feet at its plywood mill in Rogue River, OR. According to the Mail Tribune Murphy had purchased the dormant 164,000-square-foot plant formerly operated by Panel Processing of Milwaukie, OR, for $3.6 million in February 2010 and reopened it in December 2010. The plant employs approximately 130 people.
Murphy also operates plants in White City and Elma, WA; plus Sutherin and Eugene, OR.