Miami-Dade County

Ultra Music Festival wins key ruling in suit against late co-founder

Alejandro “Alex” Omes
Alejandro “Alex” Omes

The owners of Miami’s own Ultra Music Festival, one of the world’s best-known electronic music festivals, did not illegally kick out a former partner nor do they owe his estate millions of dollars, a judge has decided.

In a 16-page ruling and order, Judge Jennifer Bailey shot down allegations from the Ultra co-founder, the late Alex Omes, that he was wrongly booted from the leadership of Ultra Enterprises and then offered pennies on the dollar from his former partners, who valued his one-third stake in the company at $360,000.

Omes had argued that Ultra Enterprises, the company that controls Ultra’s licensing, was worth $100 million. He demanded that he be reinstated as president after his ouster in 2012.

Omes died suddenly last year of undetermined causes one day before the start of the trial. His estate picked up the case, which went to a bench trial in November on whether he was illegally removed as president of Ultra Enterprises and on the value of his shares. Bailey sided with Omes’ former partners, Russell and Charles Faibisch and Adam Russakoff, on just about every point in a Jan. 13th ruling.

She said Omes was not wrongly ejected from the company, saying he had basically set the stage for his own ouster by promoting events that competed with Ultra. She also said that Ultra Enterprises was worth just $2.4 million, and noted testimony that many of the international events licensed by the company actually fared poorly, or were canceled before they could ever be held.

Bailey, whose order was first reported by the Miami New Times, ordered that Ultra’s partners place $720,000 in a bank account to be eventually made accessible to Omes’ estate, which has appealed her ruling. A family attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment.

“Ultra Enterprises Inc. is extremely pleased with the outcome of the trial held in November and hopes that the parties may now resolve what is left of the matter amicably and without further expenditure of the resources of the court or the parties,” Ultra attorney Peter Valori said in a statement.

Ultra’s 18th edition kicks off Friday in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park.

EDM fans from all over the world arrived for the first day of the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami on March 27, 2015.