Kenneth B. Dart (born 1955) is a United States-born Caymanian-Belizean-Irish businessman and billionaire. His wealth was estimated in 2013 at $6.6 billion. He is an heir of William F. Dart, who founded the Dart Container Corporation (originally the Dart Manufacturing Company) in Michigan in 1937.
Dart graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1976. He joined the family business and became president of the Dart Container Corporation in 1986. His brother Robert succeeded him in this role in 2001, when Kenneth moved to the Board of Directors.
In the mid-1990s Dart and his brother, Robert, both renounced their American citizenship. Kenneth took Caymanian, Belizean and, later, Irish, citizenship. Robert holds Belizean and Irish citizenship, and resides in London. Kenneth Dart acquired citizenship of, and a compound in, the Cayman Islands, a tax haven. He owns a number of Cayman-based enterprises, including Dart Enterprises, Dart Realty, and Cayman Shores Development. His Caymanian enterprises are estimated to own about 20-25% of the real estate in the Cayman Islands.
In 1994, Dart became a citizen of Belize. At that time Dart offered his residence in Sarasota, Florida to the government of Belize as a consulate with himself as its consul. This would have allowed him to live in the United States full-time as a foreign diplomat avoiding any actions by the Internal Revenue Service; the State Department rejected the arrangement. The Reed Amendment of 1996, a tightening of U.S. tax laws concerning expatriates, was partially spurred by the Dart brothers' renounciation of their citizenship to avoid paying taxes.
Dart owns Dart Management, “one of the best known of the so-called vulture funds.” The strategy of vulture funds is to buy government debts at sharply reduced prices when weak governments are in crisis, and eventually force these governments to pay the full amount of the debt. Dart employed this strategy in 1994 by acquiring Brazilian debt instruments and eventually generating a profit of about $600m.
In the ongoing attempts to resolve the Argentinian financial crisis of 2001, Dart and Paul Singer rejected Argentina's restructuring offer in contrast to most other investors and brought their claim to the US court system. In response to Dart's holdout strategy, the then Argentinian ambassador in the US, Jorge Argüello, rebuked Dart's activities, while in the Argentinian press Dart was named "Enemy Number One of Argentina".
In 2012, a New York State judge ruled in favor of the holdout creditors ordering Argentina to pay $1.3 billion and Argentina's appeal of the ruling at the US Supreme Court was rejected in 2014. The rulings forced Argentina to miss bond payments in July 2014, which caused the country to be declared in selective default by Standard & Poor's and in restrictive default by Fitch Ratings, meaning that Argentina failed to meet some of their obligations while meeting others.
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