NEW YORK — Sam Ben-Avraham received close to $28 million earlier this year when Advanstar Communications amended its previous purchase agreement for Project Global Tradeshow, which it acquired in August 2005.
In a 10-Q filing with the SEC on May 8, Advanstar Communications noted that the lump-sum payment was made to the former owners of Project in lieu of contingent payments that were required this year and in 2008 based on Project’s performance, as well as certain obligations under stock-purchase and employment agreements. Ben-Avraham, who founded Project in 2003, was previously the principal owner of Project and received the great majority of the $28 million.
The filing noted this payment was on top of the original purchase price of $9.9 million in cash for Project.
In what Ben-Avraham described as a formality that does not reflect his continuing role at Project, the filing stated that the two parties amended the agreement “in order to terminate the principal former owner’s employment with the company.” But Ben-Avraham—who originally signed a three-year employment agreement to remain as president of Project—told DNR he remains at the helm of the show, is intimately involved with every aspect of it and intends to remain at Project into the future. He dismissed the language of the amendment as a detail related to the completion of the acquisition of Project by Advanstar.
“It’s really simple—it was a finalization of the buyout,” explained Ben-Avraham of the amendment. “We’ve grown Project to a size we are all happy with, so they paid the growth bonus now. Besides that, everything is the same. I am 100 percent involved with Project, I still report to [Advanstar CEO] Joe Loggia, I love the show and have absolutely no reason to leave.”
Advanstar’s 10-Q filing also provided details on the company’s purchase of the Pool trade show, also in August 2005. Advanstar—which owns the MAGIC Marketplace—originally paid Pool founder Ronda Walker $3 million in cash for the streetwear show. Last July, Advanstar amended that purchase agreement to eliminate future contingent payments and terminate Walker’s employment with Pool, in exchange for another payment of $1.5 million plus $500,000 due this July. Unlike Ben-Avraham, Walker did in fact sever all ties to her former company.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews