Gina Rinehart's daughter Hope Welker could be forced to give up two-thirds of a multimillion-dollar payout from her mother under a secret pact with two siblings at the height of the family's feud.
The West Australian understands three of Mrs Rinehart's four children signed a deed of guarantee designed to ensure their unity within weeks of launching legal action against their mother.
The document protected each in the event the mining magnate offered one a settlement.
Under the terms, if any of them withdrew from the case, that person must split any payout from Mrs Rinehart three ways and also cover the outstanding balance of loans the trio took out for the costly court battle.
Mrs Welker withdrew officially from the case this week after reaching a settlement with her mother.
The terms of her withdrawal are not public but The West Australian revealed yesterday she was previously offered $300 million to walk away from the case.
If that figure is correct, the deed she signed with her siblings means she could now be forced to hand them up to $200 million and pay out more than $1 million in loans they have taken to fund their case.
The new twist in the Rinehart feud means that any money given by the mining magnate to Mrs Welker to drop the case could now be handed over to her two estranged children, helping fund their continued legal battle against her.
The West Australian has obtained a copy of the four-page agreement which was signed by Mrs Welker in January last year, four months after she spearheaded the legal action against her mother.
It was drafted after Mrs Welker and Bianca Rinehart had run out of money to pay for the ongoing court battle and had sold property as well as clothes and jewellery on eBay.
The document served as a guarantee between the three children and a pool of investors who had agreed to loan them money to continue their court battle.
The children agreed to borrow funds at a rate of 12.5 percent interest up to $1 million and then 50 percent interest on above the initial $1 million.
It states that if any of them should settle “the current or any subsequent related action in the NSW Supreme Court", that person will agree to pay the entire outstanding debt and share the balance of the proceeds equally between the remaining two.
Mrs Welker signed the document in New York with her husband, Ryan, as the witness.
Mr Hancock would not comment on the deed yesterday or whether payment would be sought from his sister.
Mr Hancock and Bianca Rinehart have vowed to continue the court action to have their mother removed as head of the family trust, accusing her in court documents of “deceptive, manipulative and disgraceful conduct”.The case returns to the NSW Supreme Court next month.
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