March 25, 2009

Strictly Baby Business: Link Roundup

I'm really not a fan of flooding the blogzone with a dozen miniposts, but I'd like to clear my browser tabs. So here are a few links and tidbits from the business end of the baby business:

  • I think I know where Bratz get their 'tude. Remember how Mattel won an intellectual property infringement lawsuit against MGA, and was awarded control of Bratz dolls because the designer of the skanky little slut toys was actually an employee of Mattel at the time? Now it looks like the CEO of MGA is trying to sink Mattel's claim by pledging the IP as collateral for a loan, selling that loan to his own brother-in-law or something, and then defaulting on the loan and thus "losing" control of their primary assets. [labusinessjournal.com]

  • A back-of-the-envelope look at Phil & Teds: CEO [Crazy Executive Officer] Campbell Gower bought out the company's original founders way back in 1998, which means he's been the guy responsible for all the P&T we know and love: from the attempts to keep up with fanatic word-of-mouth in the US in 2004 by shipping everything straight from NZ; to the endearingly no-nonsense/made-with-love-in-a-shed production quality of the P&T I reviewed in 2006 to the aluminum sleekness of the new Vibe; from head-turning oddity to the top of the city dweller's double stroller heap. [All figures are in $NZ, so they sound twice as big as they really are.]

    Sales were reportedly "over $1 mm" in 2001 and have doubled every year. Gower sold 27% of the company to Pencarrow, a NZ private equity company in 2006, when the company's revenue would have been around $32mm.

    Last December Pencarrow, which hit some reversals, valued that stake on its books at $80 million, which put the entire company value at $300 million. At a time when Gower was saying he expected to do "$US150 million [$NZ 264 million] in retail sales this year," which implies that they did $US75 million [$NZ 131 million] the year before. I'd have to imagine those projections and corresponding multiples will get reined in a bit in the newly disastrous economic climate. Or maybe P&T acquires its way to its targets--which is exactly what they seem to be doing. [nbr.co.nz and others]


  • And finally, urologists are reporting--with no conflict of interest at all, of course--50% more bankers are getting vasectomies than at this time last year. Seriously. The number for a guy on the Upper East Side has gone from 1-2 operations each Friday to sometimes 3 operations/Friday. "They're saying with the cost of private school for three kids, they can't afford to have another one." [healthday.com via jason via rebeldad]

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