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Bass Mulls Mercedes Merger: Fort Worth Atwitter

By MIKE SHROPSHIRE |

Whal a coincidence: H. Ross Perot tried to take over General Motors and Sid Richardson Bass is attempting to take over Mercedes,

Bass’s motivations are anything but automotive, however. Mercedes, in this case, happens to be Mercedes Kellogg of New York, by way of Iran, who is the wife of respected former U.N. senior official Francis Kellogg.

Sid and Mercedes became chummy after meeting at some Gatsby-esque social functions in New York. The relationship escalated into a torrid romance. In the fail. it became known that Bass would divorce his wife Ann. the billionairess and patron saint of the Fort Worth arts establishment.

Veterans of the rumor circuit are speculating that Ann’s divorce settlement could set new records. The latest scoop from the streets of Fort Worth’s West Side: Ann has turned down Sid’s offer to fork over $500 million. And. of course, their house that looks like a space station located in Westover Hills, the Highland Park of Fort Worth.

“That’s a lot of bull-,” says a Fort Worth businessman familiar with the highest echelons of Fort Worth society. “Sid and Ann are the kind of people who will work the settlement quietly and discreetly. . .they’ve got too much class to get into some kind of litigation sideshow.

’And whatever settlement is determined will probably never be made public. Anybody anticipating some big divorce court extravaganza is going to be disappointed.”

Inquiring minds are also speculating on Sid Bass’s future role with the vast business empire [hat developed from the oil fortune of his great-uncle, the late Sid Richardson. Bass, forty-four, eldest of the four Bass brothers, has functioned as the unquestioned decision maker of the business.

Since his liaison with Mercedes Kellogg, however, Bass has been seen less frequently in Fort Worth, opting for the company of Mercedes in the seclusion of the Carlyle Hotel in New York. Lee Bass, youngest of the brothers, is the person in charge for (he time being.

“Most of the people who know both Sid and Ann are pretty sympathetic to Sid,” says one well-known individual from the old money set of West Fort Worth. “Sid is a quiet. retiring. pleasant person. Ann, on the other hand, is something of a pickle. She’s got a mean streak and pushes people around.”

It seems that Ann Buss created hard feelings with the somewhat heavy-handed tactics she employed while dominating the operation of the Fort Worth Ballet, which is her obsession.

Bass has not declared any matrimonial ambitions involving Mercedes, who, by all accounts from the New York society columns, is quite the enchantress. “If they do get married. I seriously doubt that Sid and Mercedes would live in Fon Worth.” speculated a friend of the Basses. “Not as long as Ann is still living here. Can you imagine Sid and Mercedes and Ann showing up at the same party?”

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