Girls Gone Wild Put Up for Sale
LOS ANGELES — Girls Gone Wild's court-appointed bankruptcy attorneys have initiated a sale of the iconic brand, company spokesman Ben Bien confirmed to XBIZ today.
Founded 16 years ago by Joe Francis, Girls Gone Wild is now being shopped to bidders who may eventually compete at a bankruptcy auction, attorneys handling the case told the Wall Street Journal. Vivid Entertainment was approached as a prospective bidder, but reportedly passed on the offer.
Francis, who has openly and aggressively opposed the sale, has been issued a temporary restraining order at the behest of the company’s trustees and attorneys. Effectively, Francis is banned from approaching Girls Gone Wild offices or any of its employees, Bien said.
Is it yet unclear how much Girls Gone Wild will go for on the market. While Francis claimed earlier this year that the brand was worth more than $80 million, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company made $500,000 on $2.4 million in sales since its February bankruptcy filing.
“Beyond the value of the company, there's the issue of the brand name's worth, as it can easily be expanded into more venues since it is widely recognized,” Bien told XBIZ. “In my experience with Internet-based companies, when a website is placed on sale the seller usually expects to receive 10 times to 20 times the monthly net revenue.
“Ownership of the trademark is another point of contention, as well as the value of our production capacity, distribution network and rights to the library of videos.”
Francis, who was sentenced to 270 days in jail in August for false imprisonment and assault, is not behind bars and continues to fight the charge, Bien said.
An L.A. court convicted Francis following a 2009 criminal complaint in which three women claimed he had manipulated them into going into his gated Hollywood home and refused to let them leave. One woman alleged Francis choked her and slammed her head onto his tiled floor.
Francis was unavailable for comment at post time.