When hedge fund manager-turned-pharmaceutical executive-turned-national supervillain Martin Shkreli was just a lad, his favorite band was a New Jersey emo act called Thursday.
In 2001, when he was apparently attending Baruch College and interning under Jim Cramer at Cramer Berkowitz, Shkreli had $10,000 of diposable income to spend on a guitar that once belonged to Thursday's lead singer Geoff Rickly. The two struck up something of a relationship and Shkreli ended up being a major investor in Rickly's Brooklyn-based record label, Collect Records.
It was like a fanboy fairy tale come true.
But now, according to the NY Times, it is all very over.
In a bizarre collision between the world of punk music and the pharmaceutical industry, Collect Records, a small Brooklyn label, has decided to sever ties with a silent investor, Martin Shkreli, after an uproar over a drug company he founded.
That's gotta sting.
Geoff Rickly, the founder of Collect Records, said in a statement on Wednesday that the label and its artists “have agreed to fully sever our relationship with Martin Shkreli, effective immediately.” He added, “Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level.”
Mr. Rickly said he was aware of Mr. Shkreli’s past business dealings, which included controversial investments and lawsuits from former employees, at the time of their partnership. “Of course I Googled him,” Mr. Rickly said. “I had apprehensions and I talked to him about it. He has a cavalier attitude about things. At the time, one on one, it was soothing, but in public now it comes across as borderline sociopathic.”
And Rickly is so committed to rejecting his biggest fan that he will risk losing his business rather than continue on with Shkreli.
Mr. Rickly said losing Mr. Shkreli’s financial support might result in the label’s closing. “This is going to end the career of the record label, no doubt,” he said. “If I were a band on the label I would be having a serious crisis of faith right now. The amount of money I have in the bank doesn’t cover my outstanding invoices. It’s devastating.”
So how broken up is Martin Shkreli over this whole thing?
Ha ha, just kidding, this is the guy who price-gouged AIDS medication by 4,000%.
Of the choice to remove him from the business, Mr. Shkreli said, “I don’t like it — I want to be involved in all this — but I respect their decision.” He added, “They can move forward from here. I kickstarted the company. I’m not the kind of guy that takes back a — if they can find a new investor, great, if they go out of business then it is what it is.”
Sounds like Martin could write an emo song of his own pretty soon.