Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Truth About Kevin Oleary - Report On Business

“If you walk down a street with Kevin, it’s like parting the Red Sea,” says Stuart Coxe, the television producer who cast Kevin O’Leary on Dragons’ Den in 2006. “It’s ‘Kevin!’ and high-fives.… We’ve never had someone like Kevin.”
O’Leary himself likes to tell the story of being buttonholed by a man in a bathroom at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport not long after Dragons’ Den went on the air. The stranger told O’Leary he was a “total asshole.” This is an anecdote that O’Leary relishes. It shows he’d arrived.

Mattel purchased TLC for about $4 billion in the spring of 1999. (Depending on how debt is considered, the figure ranges from $3.4 billion to $4.2 billion.) O’Leary took over as president of Mattel’s new TLC digital division, having received a hike in salary from $400,000 to $650,000 and an increase in his severance package from $2.1 million to $5.25 million. A few months after the sale went through, O’Leary sold most of his Mattel stock and pocketed nearly $6 million, according to a court document.
Weeks after the sale, CFRA produced a critical report on Mattel, claiming TLC was already experiencing collapsing revenue, a surge in receivables and a deterioration of operating cash flow. In the third quarter of 1999, Mattel expected profits of $50 million from the TLC division. When Mattel revised that estimate to a loss of between $50 million and $100 million, the announcement wiped out more than $2 billion in shareholder value in one day, as the company’s share price slid from nearly $17 to $11.69. The actual divisional loss for the quarter turned out to be $105 million; the next quarter, the loss was $206 million.
In November of 1999, O’Leary was fired, six months into a three-year contract. Four months later, Barad, the CEO, was forced out too. “There is nothing I can say to gloss over how devastating The Learning Company’s results have been to Mattel’s overall performance,” she said.

And I paraphrase but ..."In 2003, Mattel settled the lawsuit for $122 million—considered a “mega-settlement” by Cornerstone Research, a litigation consulting firm. O’Leary has sometimes been called a billionaire due to the size of the original deal. That overstates things: O’Leary in fact netted $11.2 million between his severance package and sale of his Mattel stock. The real money in the transaction was made by Bain and its partners...
...And some Dragons’ Den deals turn out differently than how they’re first conceived. Wendy Johannson and Claudia Harvey invented a glove that makes it possible to work in the garden without ruining one’s nails. They needed $50,000 when they went on the show in 2009. On-air, O’Leary agreed to give them the money in return for 3% of royalties. They eventually gave him 10% of their company, Dig It Apparel Inc. But the $50,000 never materialized. “When he said he’d like to have 10% for $50,000, I thought that would be a cash injection,” says Harvey. Instead, O’Leary offered the pair a line of credit, which Dig It has not used. “He’s never actually given us any money,” says Harvey. “He is acting as a face for our company. We can use his name and we can say ‘Kevin O’Leary is our business partner.’ For that, he has 10% of our company.” Harvey says they’re delighted with O’Leary’s participation and he has helped them expand their market and promoted their products."

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