How to make money in magazine publilshing: The Miami Herald’s Christina Hoag profiles Marc Bell, head of Marc Bell Capital Partners.
“‘I love starting up businesses, coming up with ideas, even though one out of every two bombs.” His latest venture certainly didn’t. Last year Bell and a partner bought most of bankrupt Penthouse magazine’s roughly $45 million debt for pennies on the dollar with the idea of getting the famed porn monthly back on its feet. Bell’s vision was to turn it into a tamer magazine geared toward young men and sell it. But earlier this year, another contender for the magazine emerged and filed a competing reorganization plan. During the tussle that earned plenty of headlines in the New York press, Mexican millionaire Luis Molina gained the edge when he swayed broke Penthouse founder Bob Guccione to his side. He did that by buying Guccione’s posh town house, which Guccione was on the verge of losing to creditors and lavishing a $1 million salary on him.
Molina also offered Bell a deal that was too lucrative to toss aside — $60 million for the debt and $10 million for a chunk of stock. ‘I asked my accountant what’s the ROI [return on investment]; he answered, ‘infinite.’ How many times do you get to make multiples on your money in a year?” Bell said.”