Reverse mergers and Wes Clark…

July 12, 2007

images2.jpegYesterday, biotech boutique investment firm Rodman & Renshaw announced that it had completed its reverse merger with a shell company called Enthrust Financial and filed this 8-K late yesterday. But it was one of the exhibits in the filing — specifically this contract with General (and former Presidential candidate) Wesley Clark that caught my attention. Because R&R wasn’t public before, this information wasn’t available.

Although Clark became chairman of R&R in early 2006, the 10-page employment agreement is dated June 25, 2007. In addition to a salary of $250K, Clark was given the chance to purchase 229,885 options at $7 a share. The agreement also calls for a 15% finder’s fee for any business that Clark introduces to the firm. And there’s a very detailed section with various scenarios over what happens when (or is it if?) the company’s Acumen subsidiary is spun-off. Of course, you also have to wonder any time a company — especially an investment bank — does a reverse merger since this has traditionally been a back-door to the public markets for companies that otherwise couldn’t make the grade.

Granted, this isn’t quite as exciting as the shear craziness over at Whole Foods (WFMI) that broke last night in the WSJ. I first wrote about message boards in 1999 and even in those early days, it was surprising to me that any CEO would bother to waste time there, posting under an alias, instead of running their company. One has to wonder how many other top executives are secret Yahoo message posters. My buddy Roger Ehrenberg pulls few punches in his discussion of Whole Foods, so be sure to check it out.

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