Friday, March 7, 2008

Is Al Gore’s I.P.O. a Bit Too Convenient? And: Al Gore's Big Investment

Two from the New York Times' DealBook blog:

Al Gore’s plan to hold a $100 million initial public offering for his cable company Current Media is generating some heat in BusinessWeek.

In a column published Thursday on the Web, Ron Grover, BusinessWeek’s Los Angeles bureau chief, recites a list of problems he has with the public offering — including how it would enrich the former Democratic vice-president.

The magazine estimates that Mr. Gore will pocket $48 million from the stock offering of Current Media, which has lost $31.5 million over the last three years. In addition, Mr. Gore and his business partner, Current Media’s chief executive, Joel Hyatt, will have “hammer-lock” control over the company in the form of a special class of shares that they will hold....MORE

Al Gore’s Big Investment

His bid for the presidency didn’t pan out, but financially speaking, the past eight years or so have apparently been good ones for Al Gore.

Mr. Gore doesn’t disclose much about his personal finances, but Bloomberg News came across a regulatory filing disclosing that he recently invested $35 million with the Capricorn Investment Group, a firm that Bloomberg said puts clients’ assets into hedge funds and invests in “makers of environmentally friendly products.” That’s a big wad of cash for someone who reported barely $2 million in assets in 2000, when his job as vice president came to an end.

Capricorn is an interesting firm: It was founded by Jeffrey Skoll, a former president of eBay who was also executive producer for Mr. Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But the juiciest part of the story about Mr. Gore’s investment is this: Where did all that money come from?>>>MORE

Here's the BusinessWeek story:

CurrentTV's parent is launching a public offering whose terms, though sweet for the company's high-profile founder, may be inconvenient for investors

What's an Emmy worth? If you're former Vice-President Al Gore, it's worth just north of $1 million a year and roughly another $48 million in stock. That's a hefty sum for a guy who of late has traveled the globe as a goodwill ambassador for mankind, stressing the need for humanity to wake up to the dangers of global warming....