NEW YORK — Bankrupt Kasper ASL Ltd. has given John Idol several million good reasons to stick around.
In a Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that also contained news of a profitable fourth quarter and full year for the firm, Kasper gave details of its employment contract with Idol, its chairman and chief executive.
The SEC document indicated that, during fiscal 2002 ended Dec. 28, Idol earned $1 million in salary, $1.4 million in bonus money and $333,000 in other compensation. During his less-than-six-months on the job in fiscal 2001, he earned $435,000, plus $343,000 in bonuses and $167,000 in other compensation.
Idol joined Kasper in his current capacity in July 2001 following four years as ceo of Donna Karan, now part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Kasper, as reported, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2002. Idol led a group that tried to buy the group for about $88 million last December, an amount that was subsequently raised to around $100 million.
An amendment to Idol’s employment contract makes provisions for him in the event of an emergence from Chapter 11, a sale to another firm or termination of employment for any number of reasons. These terms and conditions took on new meaning in recent weeks as reports swirled that Idol was under consideration to become chief of Michael Kors LLC, now under the ownership of investors Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou. As reported, Allison Ryba now serves as interim president of Kors.
Idol had strongly denied the reports and, on Monday, with compensation details as well as fourth-quarter and full-year profits on the record, he said in an interview, "What’s most seriously impressed me is the turnaround of the company."
Idol’s original contract, which runs through the middle of 2005, grants him a $1 million salary plus a minimum bonus of $750,000, an additional 50 percent of his salary if the company has pretax income in a given fiscal year, 5 percent of pretax income between $10 million and $20 million and 2 1/2 percent of pretax income in excess of $20 million, to a maximum of $1.5 million.
Under revised terms of his contract, Idol would receive, upon Kasper’s emergence from bankruptcy, restricted shares of common stock having a value of $1 million, plus 2 1/2 percent of the number of shares issued under the reorganization plan. He would also receive options to purchase shares of the "new" Kasper equal to 2 1/2 percent of the shares issued at an exercise price of $80 million divided by the number of shares issued.If the company is sold before the restricted stock and options are issued, however, Idol would be entitled to a lump sum payment of $1 million plus 2 1/2 percent of the "distributable amount" under the reorganization plan in satisfaction of senior notes claims, general unsecured claims and an amount equal to 2 1/2 percent of the amount by which the distributable amount exceeded $80 million.
In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 28, Kasper’s net income was $15.2 million, or $2.24 a share, against a loss of $35.8 million, or $5.26, in the prior-year period. Total revenue rose 17.2 percent to $84.3 million from $71.9 million. Revenues included a 16.9 percent gain in sales to $78.9 million from $67.5 million and a 22 percent jump in royalty income to $5.5 million from $4.5 million.
Idol said in a statement, "We have instituted our turnaround plan by reorganizing operations, reducing expenses and increasing liquidity, and are encouraged by the results for the year."
Kasper ended the year with $24.9 million in cash and no cash borrowings under its debtor-in-possession financing facility, according to the company.
Kasper had told the SEC last month that the filing of its yearend results would be delayed. The results for the 12 months, however, confirmed Kasper’s expectation that its net income for the year would be $6.4 million, or 95 cents, against a loss of $75.7 million, or $11.13, a year ago. Revenue fell 2.1 percent to $375.8 million from $383.9 million, which included a 2.9 percent decline in sales to $358 million from $368.6 million and a 16 percent hike in royalty income to $17.7 million from $15.3 million.
Despite Kasper’s quarterly profit, the yearend income figure was below the $21.6 million profit reported for the nine months because of a $30.4 million noncash charge to reduce the carrying value of goodwill, which was posted against first-quarter results.
According to Joseph Parsons, chief financial officer, the company was aware of the adjustment before it posted third-quarter results, but hadn’t yet completed the impairment test of goodwill and other intangible assets required by the accounting rule that the firm adopted last year. The noncash charge was recorded in the first quarter as required by the rule, Parsons said. The restated net loss for the first quarter was $24.7 million, or $3.64 a share.The company is still exploring its alternatives, including a sale of the company, and expects to make a decision within 60 days. As reported, a special committee of Kasper’s board hired Peter J. Solomon Co. as financial advisor.
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