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How Much Did Bethenny Sell Skinnygirl For?

Days after the Huffington Post reported Bethenny Frankel only received $8.1 million for the sale of her Skinnygirl drink line, and not the widely reported $120 million, both Bethenny and Forbes are now firing back!

First Forbes is stating they stand by the $100 million figure. If you recall, the Bethenny Ever After star graced the cover of Forbes back in May during which they declared she sold the drink line for $100 mil — $20 mil less than the amount originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

So what exactly was the $8.1 mil figure about? Well according to a financial analyst, the $8.1 million is merely the value of the goodwill attributed to the brand.

“The $8.1 million was just the amount of intangible assets purchased in the Skinnygirl transaction, essentially the amount Beam paid for the Skinnygirl brand rights—not the total purchase price,” said analyst R.J. Hottovy to Forbes.

So how did Huffington Post’s Rob Shuter get it wrong? Well for starters the actual price Beam paid for Skinnygirl is missing from the 10-Q statement and Bethenny cannot publicly disclose the amount due to a confidential agreement. Beam is also refusing to disclose the amount and they can actually get away with doing that under accounting rules.

“We will continue to disclose accounting data as required to be included in financial filings,” said Beam Global spokeswoman Paula Erickson, “but do not expect that a black-and-white lump sum ‘purchase price’ figure will be made available. Suffice to say, this was not an $8.1 million acquisition.”

So the BIG question now is how much did Bethenny really receive for the sale of her drink line? According to Forbes, that figure is at least $39 million. See Beam listed $39 million in their financial disclosures for acquisitions made in the second quarter of 2011. And as financial analyst R.J. points out, the only acquisition the company made during that period was for the Skinnygirl Drinkline.

“The only deal they announced over that period was Skinnygirl,” said R.J. “This means [Beam] paid at least that much for Skinnygirl [during that period].” He goes on to add that there may be additional elements to the deal not accounted for or visible in company filings, including stock options that could yield Bethenny additional long-term returns.

In addition to the $39 million Bethenny likely received upfront, she also stands to earn up to an additional $25 million. The company’s financial statement revealed “the Company may be required to record contingent consideration in an amount not in excess of approximately $25 million.” That basically means Bethenny stands to earn up to an additional $25 million based on future sales, incentives, meeting high targets etc.

Bethenny herself confirmed this to Forbes stating she’d get “on-going back end”—payments based on how well Skinnygirl’s cocktails sold after Beam took control. Experts say Bethenny should be getting that $25 million as “sales of Skinnygirl have exceeded expectations for 2011 and that threshold will be met this year.”

According to Forbes, this brings “the value of the deal to at least $64 million in this year alone, without accounting for any further payments or other compensation for Frankel.” Bethenny adds, “The acquisition was structured with various potential payout levels based on sales of Skinnygirl products.”

Bethenny of course also fired back at critics. When asked about the reported $8.1 million figure, Bethenny said laughing: “Come on. That it could be the fastest growing booze brand on the market and have sold for that little is just preposterous… I’m going to be paying a hell of a lot more than $8.1 million in taxes.”

As for the Huffington Post, they have since retracted their original errornous report stating they “regret” it.

However, some things are still not adding up. For example, where did the $100 million figure come from? It appears Forbes can only put a $64 million figure on the deal and cannot account for the remaining $36 million. Yes, it’s clear Bethenny potentially stands to earn more, according to her, but it would have been nice if Forbes could further explain how exactly they were able to put a $36 mil figure on that potential income.

Other things that make you scratch your head is the fact that immediately following the Huffington Post’s report, Bethenny quickly removed the Forbes $100 million cover story from her website. Why remove the article if it’s accurate?

Also more odd, Forbes released the statement below to the Huffington Post before they ultimately decided to back Bethenny and themselves on the issue -

“We’re taking this very seriously. We based our numbers at the time of reporting on solid sources. We’re aware of the new information and we’re looking into it right now,” Dan Bigman, Forbes executive editor stated. “We’re going to review all the information thoroughly and talk to Ms. Frankel before taking any steps. If there are any inaccuracies, we’ll correct them. If clarification is required, we’ll do so.”

As for Bethenny, she also tweeted: “Most people are morons. Stay tuned.” She later added, “Only listen to sources you trust. Irresponsible journalism is a waste of your time.” Bethenny also changed her Twitter profile picture to her Forbes cover. That cover is below.

Must say Bethenny should be giving thanks that this Huffington Post report came out just in time to distract the public from Lost-at-sea-gate!

Photo credit: Roger Wong/INFEvents.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT THE $100 MILLION FIGURE OR MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?


They say when it rains, it pours and unfortunately for Bethenny Frankel it continues to storm.

Just days after the towboat operator who “rescued” her publicly stated she faked the whole ordeal for her reality show, a new report by the Huffington Post is now stating Bethenny did not receive the widely reported $120 million for the sale of her Skinnygirl drink line earlier this year. Just how much did she earn? $8.1 million — a far cry from the reported amount.

The Huffington Post uncovered the SEC quarterly financial disclosures posted on Fortune Brands’ (the company Bethenny sold her line to) website yesterday which revealed the acquisition of the Skinnygirl cocktail business was for $8.1 million. The statement read, “…the acquisition of the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktail business ($8.1 million).” Below is another excerpt from the disclosures -

“In March 2011, we acquired the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktail business. The acquisition included inventory and identifiable intangible assets. In addition to goodwill, we recorded contingent consideration, which is based on the achievement of certain sales targets. In future periods, the Company may be required to record contingent consideration in an amount not in excess of approximately $25 million. Any change in the Company’s estimated liabilities for contingent consideration will impact operating income in future periods.”

To sum this up, Bethenny received $8.1 million upfront and stands to earn up to an additional $25 million based on future sales, incentives, meeting high targets etc. W.O.W.Z.E.R.S. That puts the full possible sum of the sale at $33.1 million. While still definitely impressive — it is definitely a far cry from the reported $120 million.

Ramona Singer expressed her doubts about that amount back in May citing the amount was likely closer to $30 million. Who would have thought Ramona had it right? “I was thinking before that figure came out she got about $30 million total,” Ramona said. “And divided that between her and her partners David, and usually they do a pay out, they don’t give you the money up front, they pay you out over time.”

In Bethenny’s defense, she has never confirmed that $120 mil amount, but then again she never denied it. I guess the question now is should she have spoken up and publicly stated the number was way off? It will be interesting to see how Bethenny responds to this. She has yet to comment on this latest finding.

Moving on to Bethenny’s other dilemma aka Lost-at-sea-gate. The original story by Bethenny, star of Bethenny Ever After, was that she alongside her husband Jason Hoppy, her therapist and a Bravo camera crew were lost at sea for over 20 hours after their GPS malfunctioned.

Bethenny first gave an interview to E! News recounting the ordeal which she described as “traumatic.” And then during an appearance on The Ellen Show, she told host Ellen DeGeneres that she tipped tow boat operator Tim Russell $2,800 for safely returning her to shore.

Right away, some questioned the authenticity of Bethenny’s story which led the Jewish Journal to find Tim and interview him about what really happened. Tim had some very harsh words to say about Bethenny as he revealed she was never in any real danger while insisting that the navigation system was working when he received the call. Tim also added he was only called to help after the Coast Guard refused due to the lack of danger. To top it off, Tim said he never received the $2,800 tip from Bethenny.

Wowzers. Bethenny is now firing back in an attempt to defend herself. She is still sticking to her story as she tells E! News she was indeed lost at sea.

“Fiction? For some reason the craziest things just happen to happen to me,” she tells E!. “Not many people have an iguana poop in their suite on their honeymoon or their baby nurse attempt to baptize their child.”

“I wish that boat trip were fiction rather than the nightmare it actually was,” added Bethenny. “My truth is stranger than fiction.”

Bethenny also made the following tweets: “I will ALWAYS be honest with my fans. I know you know that!” She added: “Let’s review last week’s idiocies 1)I have a”nice”coach 2)I’m getting divorced 3)I’m pregnant 4)I lied re:being lost at sea Anything else?”

For someone as brash and honest as Bethenny, I was expecting a better defense of herself especially if someone is falsely accusing her of lying. I personally feel she should have answered the tough questions such as did she really tip Tim $2,800? And why would Tim come out and state her story was fake? I can’t imagine a man who was tipped $2,800 woould publicly state that he wasn’t.

Photo credit: WENN

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? SHOULD BETHENNY HAVE SPOKEN UP ABOUT THE REPORTED $120 MILLION SALE AMOUNT? DO YOU BELIEVE BETHENNY OR TIM?

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