How do you sell the technology company you founded for $1.8bn and five years later file for personal bankruptcy ?
For Halsey Minor, it may have been a fascination with houses, hotels, horses and art.
Bloomberg reports that Minor, 47, who sold CNET Networks to CBS in 2008, says he owes as much as $100m and only has, at most, $50m to pay his debts thanks to bad bets on real estate and other ventures that took him out of what he calls his technology comfort zone.
He’s made sure that he won’t be the only one who’s uncomfortable, though. There’s no money for his unsecured creditors, he said in his bankruptcy petition, which seeks to hand over all his eligible assets to a court official who will sell them to the highest bidder and wipe Minor’s finances clean for whatever he decides to do next.
'Choosing Chapter 7 is clearing the slate', said Bob Rattet, a bankruptcy lawyer in White Plains, New York. 'He isn’t required like Middle America to pay his debts, because they’re mostly business-related'.
Halsey Minor’s Minor Ventures invested in early-stage technology startups including GrandCentral Communications Inc., which Google bought in 2007 for about $65m and renamed Google Voice.
Since then, Minor has been selling his art collection to pay debts. In 2010, he sold a painting of a blue-eyed nurse by Richard Prince and an aluminum couch by Marc Newson to help raise $21.1m for his creditors.
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