It takes a real power shopper to blow through the proceeds of a $1.8 billion deal in five years. But CNET’s founder, Halsey Minor, managed to do it.
In 2008, Minor sold CNET Networks to CBS for $1.8 billion. But just last week, the 47-year-old filed for personal bankruptcy.
Minor owes as much as $100 million and has no more than $50 million to pay his debts, reports Bloomberg’s Dawn McCarty & Ari Levy.
Since his CNET days, he’s been binging on art, houses, hotels, horses and other real estate ventures that didn’t pan out.
Before selling CNET, Minor had dabbled as a tech angel investor through a firm called Minor Ventures. That wasn’t a total bust for him. One of the companies he backed was GrandCentral Communications, reports Mcarty & Levy. It sold to Google in 2007 for about $65 million and became Google Voice.
But when he switched to real estate investing after the CNET sale, he got himself in trouble. For instance, in 2008, he bought the 400-plus acre estate Carter’s Grove Plantation for $15.3 million. Carter’s Grove filed for bankruptcy in 2011, according to court documents.
By 2010, he was selling assets to pay creditors. That year, he sold $21.1 million worth of artwork to pay bills, and Sotheby’s Inc. won a $6.6 million judgement against him for more art he bought at auction and didn’t pay for.
Sotheby’s is listed as a creditor along with a bunch of lawyers, some horse breeders and trainers, and many others.
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