Private-equity firm owner Scott Honour has quietly settled a lawsuit brought earlier this year by business associates who accused Honour and partners of failing to repay principal and interest on $800,000 in loans made in 2016 and 2017.
In late May, Hennepin County District Judge Ronald Abrams ordered several entities involving Honour and his brother, Kirk Honour, to repay the money, plus interest, penalties and attorney fees.
Honour was sued by businessmen Brenton Hayden — who in 2015 sold majority interest in his Renters Warehouse company to Honour’s Northern Pacific Group — and local retailer Dick Enrico, former owner of 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment.
Hayden and Enrico obtained an $828,000 judgment in May, including interest.
“Our guys were successful in getting the judge to award the entire amount due,” said Hayden’s attorney, Jack Harper. “They are very happy. The case subsequently got resolved [with the settlement in recent days].”
Hayden and Enrico were seeking something approaching $1 million, including their legal fees and related costs.
An attorney for the Honours declined to comment.
In their January lawsuit, Hayden and Enrico accused Honour and his associates of breach of contract and fraud. They said they had invested $800,000 in exchange for certain secured “bridge notes” in Titan CNG, an Honour-controlled entity.
“Not only have defendants repeatedly defaulted on the bridge notes, culminating in their failure to pay the entire amounts by the maturity dates, plaintiffs discover that they have been defrauded in terms of the security supposedly pledged to secure their loans,” Enrico and Hayden claimed in their lawsuit.
Following a May hearing on the case, Abrams ordered the Honours to pay up and for the plaintiffs’ lawyers to total their fees and costs for Abrams to assess. That spurred the settlement talks between the parties.
In 2016, Northern Pacific Group and Honour were sued by the former CEO of United Language Group, several months after Northern Pacific Group acquired the Twin Cities-based language-translation firm. In the case that was subsequently settled confidentially, former CEO Jeff Brink accused Scott Honour of unjustly firing him, stealing his ideas, defaming him and lying to employees about his firing.
Honour, 52, a Minnesota native, was an investment manager in Los Angeles at a private-equity firm that specialized in buying companies and improving results through operating improvements, as well as cost-cutting and layoffs.
He moved back to Minnesota several years ago with his family, bought a mansion on Lake Minnetonka and signed on as a partner with Wayzata-based Northern Pacific Group. He was an unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate for governor in 2014.
Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144