This was a bit of a stunner – I didn’t even have a chance to try a bottle of her Skinnygirl Margarita before she sold the brand to Fortune’s Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.!
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Beam Global gains the instant marketing exposure of Ms. Frankel, who will remain heavily involved in promoting and developing Skinnygirl products under a multiyear agreement. Ms. Frankel co-owned Skinnygirl with liquor-industry veteran David Kanbar, who isn’t staying on. Terms of the sale, which closed last week, couldn’t be learned.
This deal is very similar to the one by Arianna Huffington a few weeks ago when she sold her liberal blog www.huffingtonpost.com for $310 million to AOL. Arianna gets all that cash, and she stays on as their paid spokeswoman and “advisor.” In other words, it’s now “corporate” but with the implication of a real person. But the real person really isn’t calling all the shots anymore.
The first obvious question, with no public answer to be found anywhere, how much cash did Bethenny get for this sale? I seriously doubt she’d unload a fast-growing, profitable business like this just to get it out of her hair so she could write more books. So she likely got some serious bank. My biggest concern is that a couple million dollars now, could be giving up a lot MORE later. Visualize Martha Stewart around say 1988 when she had a couple books under her belt and was starting to get high profile. Had Martha cashed in her chips at that point, she might have given it up for $10 million. Now Martha’s net worth is somewhere just under $1 billion.
I’m very curious to know the reasoning behind this sale. We could all use an extra $20 million (or whatever she probably made) every now and again. But $20 million doesn’t last long in the world of celebrity. My initial thought? Bethenny should have delegated this to a manager and held on to it, building on this brand. If she wants to be the next big thing, she needs to build, not consolidate and downsize.
You might also enjoy these articles:
[Photo by PR Photos]