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Going, going, gone…

images-15.jpegIt’s been about a year and a half since we footnoted Escala Group (ESCL.PK). Back then, we thought it deserved a rare gold star and for awhile — back before the stock turned pink — things looked pretty promising. But then last May came a problem that sent the stock down more than 50%. It’s continued to free-fall since then. In addition to the problems in Spain, there’s been an earnings restatement too.

Then, on Tuesday, came this interesting 8K that was shockingly brief and lacking in details. Former Chairman and CEO Greg Manning — the company used to be called Greg Manning Auctions before switching to Escala in September 2005 — who became a consultant this past December, was terminated for cause on Tuesday because Manning had “has committed one or more breaches of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics”. That means the end of the consulting gig, and, judging by the filing, none of the “so sorry to see you go” payments that are normally routine when a former CEO moves up and out.

What really happened here? Between the problems in Spain and the restatement, clearly lots. Unfortunately, the public filings are pretty terse, even for a small cap. Clearly, there’s still plenty of unanswered questions here. But Manning, like the auctions he used to run once upon a time, is going, going, gone.