Last month, we learned that at some point over the summer, Richard Kimball Jr. had left Goldman Sachs. Not knowing his plans, at the time we speculated he was either starting his own hedge fund, as former bankers, particularly ones who've been partners at Goldman, tend to do, or designing a line for La Perla, as people whose adult pool parties and clothing-optional Halloween gatherings that enrage the neighbors also tend to do. Today, however, we were informed that we were wrong on both counts. While owning a hedge fund or designing lingerie seem like they would fall in Kimball's wheelhouse, his new gig is actually more perfect for him than anything would could have imagined. 'Cause when one thinks of Rick Kimball Jr, one thinks PAR-TAY ANIMAL. And when you're a par-tay animal on the level of The Kimballer, you need to take important steps to ensure the party don't stop. Safeguards, if you will. One reason often cited by people who've been engaging in some hard partying for "never doing that again" is the desire to not suffer crippling hangovers the next day. But what if Rick Kimball told you you could party like no one was watching without ever waking up to another hangover again? Would that sound like something you'd be interested in? Because what we're saying is: Rick Kimball is currently running a hangover prevention company.*
And although we love that this is a thing that is happening, others are less than pleased. Specifically, some shareholders of Mercy** (which include Gwyneth Paltrow, who sung the drink/company's praises to her Goop subscribers last year and basketball player Jared Jefferies), in which Kimball initially invested in October 2010 and became chairman on April 26, 2012. Frosting some people's cookies is the belief that Kimball is attempting to "take over the company" at the expense of common shareholders, some of whose gripes include the fact that:
1. The current CEO, Luc Tomasino, who was brought in back in April 2011, is an old friend of Kimball's who a person familiar with Mercy says had no previous "beverage experience" prior to being hired.
2. The board is proposing moving the incorporation to Delaware, increasing outstanding shares from 2.6 million to 30 million, raising the amount of convertible promissory notes it can sell from $2.5 million to $4.5 million, and changing by-laws so that only the CEO or board, but not shareholders, can call special meetings.
3. All of the above will is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow, but based on the concerns by some, a company called "The Shareholder Forum" was brought in to review the situation, and it has concluded:
4. A conference call to discuss concerns was held today which some but not all shareholders were invited to participate in; "Sure, sue the company" was said to be a response by Kimball to one question.
Based on all that, at least a handful of shareholders are hoping tomorrow's vote will not take place. Regardless of what happens, if you're partying this weekend, considering picking up some Kimball Juice!
Drink Mercy [Mercy]
December 3, 2012 Forum Report; Defining Issues for Voting Decisions at Special Meeting [SF]
November 19, 2012; Notice of Special Meeting and Proxy Statement [SF]
*From the "How it works" section of its site:
A. Relax, Have fun, Celebrate
B. Make your last drink a can of Mercy, one for every three to five drinks
C. Wake up ready to take the day on
**AKA "Neu Industries"