The three-year dispute over control of a Eugene natural foods company was settled with business and religious leaders dropping claims against each other.
The feuding religious leaders and business leaders of the Sikh community founded by the late Yogi Bhajan agreed to drop their legal claims against each other. They will move on with an orderly give-and-take of payments and a transition to new leadership for the community’s for-profit companies, including East West Tea Company LLC. East West Tea Co., which packages tea under the Yogi Tea brand, is what’s left of Golden Temple of Oregon, which built such brands as Peace Cereal and Yogi Tea, and has long been a cornerstone of Eugene’s natural foods industry. Golden Temple sold its cereal division to Hearthside Food Solutions in May 2010 for $71 million.
Under the settlement agreement, former Eugene resident and prominent local businessman Kartar Singh Khalsa, will resign from the Unto Infinity management board that controlled the Sikh community’s for-profit companies and religious and educational charities. He has agreed to stay on as CEO of the tea company until Dec. 31, and he will relinquish his ownership interest in Golden Temple of Oregon, which he valued at $23.5 million in his Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.
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