Infighting Stalls Napster Buyout

from the fight!-fight!-fight! dept

Apparently, Bertelsmann is trying to make official what everyone assumed was going to happen anyway, by buying Napster. Turns out, it’s not that easy. It seems that when Napster took high-profile money from VC firm Hummer Winblad, they gave them preferred shares that would guarantee that the VC firm gets their money back on any sale, before any other shareholders get their distribution. This is fairly common. However, now Napster is trying to kick HW members off of their board, and to convert their shares to common shares. Bertelsmann won’t complete the buyout until this is taken care of. Hummer Winblad folks, however, have no interest in going along – and say that what Napster is trying to do (in pushing them off the board and converting their shares) is illegal. It’s really quite amazing that there’s so much fighting for a company that no one cares about any more.

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