Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

FriendFinder IPO: Invest $460 Million, Get a $95,000 Car

I only had enough time to assess the big picture when I wrote about the FriendFinder Network IPO earlier this week: Money-losing porn/social-network company drowning in debt, needs public investors to bail it out.

But the FriendFinder prospectus may turn out to have multiple Christmas gifts for those who work their way through it. For instance, Nick Wingfield, my corporate cousin at The Wall Street Journal, dug up this gem under “related party transactions”:

In another interesting tidbit, the company says [predecessor company] Various purchased an automobile from the founder of Various for $125,000 on October 27, 2006 (the founder in question appears to be Andrew Conru.) The company doesn’t say what kind of car it is or why it bought it, but it doesn’t appear to have gotten a very good deal. The filing says the vehicle is currently ‘being held for sale and in 2006 was written down to its estimated net realizable value of $95,000.’ A FriendFinder spokesman didn’t immediately return a call for comment.”

I’ve also lobbed queries in to Andrew Conru and to FriendFinder’s corporate HQ, but haven’t heard back. But perhaps MediaMemo readers who are more autocentric than I am (I’ve owned one car in my life–a 1994 Toyota Tercel with vinyl seats and no air conditioning) can help answer one of my questions: What kind of used car can you get for $95,000?

Please share your thoughts with us via the comments section below; if you find the registration process too onerous, you can leave an anonymous comment via the tip box. (UPDATE: Some readers tell me it’s a Ferrari 360 Modena).

In the meantime, I’ve made my own rudimentary attempt to gauge the market for $95,000 cars: A trip to eBay’s (EBAY) Motors showroom. Here’s a sampling of what’s available in the $90,000 to $95,000 range today (click on each image to enlarge).

2006 Bentley Continental Spur. Starting bid: $95,000

2003 Ferrari 575. Starting bid: $95,000


2007 Porsche 911. Starting bid: $95,000

1970 Ford Mustang Boss. Starting bid: $90,000

2004 Lamborghini Gallardo. Starting bid: $95,000


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik