Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Note 10 - Commitments and Contingencies

v3.6.0.2
Note 10 - Commitments and Contingencies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

Note 10. Commitments and Contingencies

 

Operating Leases

 

The Company leases office and warehouse facilities under operating leases, which expire at various dates through 2020. The amounts reflected in the table below are for the aggregate future minimum lease payments under non-cancelable facility operating leases for properties that have not been abandoned as part of the restructuring plan. See Note 5 for additional details regarding the restructured leases. Under lease agreements that contain escalating rent provisions, lease expense is recorded on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Rent expense was $0.9 million and $1.6 million for years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

As of December 31, 2016, future minimum lease payments are as follows (in thousands):

 

For the Year Ending December 31,      
2017   $ 435  
2018     418  
2019     392  
2020     268  
2021     —    
Thereafter     —    
Total minimum lease payments   $ 1,513  

 

Capital Leases

In December 2014, the Company entered into a capital lease agreement providing for approximately $1.8 million in credit to lease up to 50 vehicles as part of a fleet lease program. As of December 31, 2016, the Company was leasing 10 vehicles under the capital lease which were included in “Property and equipment, net” in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The original cost of leased assets was $330,000 and the associated accumulated depreciation was $126,000. As of December 31, 2015, the Company was leasing 21 vehicles under the capital lease which were included in “Property and equipment, net” in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The original cost of leased assets was $670,000 and the associated accumulated depreciation was $90,000. The Company also leases manufacturing and warehouse equipment under capital leases, which expire at various dates through February 2020. Several of such leases were reclassified to the restructuring liability as of December 31, 2016, and related assets were written off to restructuring expense.

 

As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, short-term capital lease liabilities of $173,000 and $186,000, respectively, were included as a component of current liabilities, and the long-term capital lease liabilities of $332,000 and $330,000, respectively, were included as a component of long-term liabilities in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s future minimum lease payments under capital lease agreements, are as follows (in thousands):

 

For the Year Ending December 31,      
2017   $ 194  
2018     179  
2019     122  
2020     50  
2021     —    
Total minimum lease payments     545  
Less amounts representing interest     (40
Present value of minimum lease payments   $ 505  

 

 

Purchase Commitment

 

As described in Note 4, upon closing of the sale of BioZone, the Company entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement whereby the Company is required to purchase a minimum of approximately $1.9 million of products per year from BioZone annually for an initial term of three years. If the minimum order quantities of specific products are not met, a $3.0 million minimum purchase commitment kicks in and any shortfall will be paid at 25% of the realized shortfall.

 

Settlements

 

Capstone

 

The Company was engaged in a dispute with Capstone arising out of a Manufacturing Agreement between the parties. On November 7, 2016, the parties executed the Settlement Agreement. Under the Settlement Agreement, the Company paid cash to Capstone in the amount of $11.0 million and issued a warrant to purchase 1,289,378 shares of the Company’s common stock. All pending litigation was dismissed with prejudice. The Settlement Agreement released all parties from any and all claims, actions, causes of action, suits, controversies or counterclaims that the parties have had, now have or thereafter can, shall or may have. See additional information in Note 6.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Company was engaged in a dispute with Marine MP, LLC (“Marine MP”), Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Schwarzenegger”), and Fitness Publications, Inc. (“Fitness,” and together with Marine MP and Schwarzenegger, the “AS Parties”) concerning amounts allegedly owed under the parties’ Endorsement Licensing and Co-Branding Agreement (the “Endorsement Agreement”). In May 2016, the Company received written notice that the AS Parties were terminating the Endorsement Licensing and Co-Branding Agreement by and among the Company and the AS Parties, the Company provided written notice to the AS Parties that it was terminating the Endorsement Agreement, and the AS Parties commenced arbitration, alleging that the Company breached the parties’ agreement and misappropriated Schwarzenegger’s likeness. The Company filed its response and counterclaimed for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

 

On December 17, 2016, the Company entered into a Settlement Agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) with the AS Parties, effective January 4, 2017. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, and to resolve and settle all disputes between the parties and release all claims between them, the Company agreed to pay the AS Parties (a) $1.0 million, which payment was released to the AS Parties on January 5, 2017, and (b) $2.0 million within six months of the effective date of the Settlement Agreement. If the Company fails to make the second payment when due, pursuant to a confession of judgment entered into by the Company, the AS Parties will be entitled to an additional $1.0 million, for a total additional payment of $3.0 million to satisfy the AS Parties’ contract claim, which the AS Parties claim is valued at $4.0 million. The Company also has agreed that it will not sell any products from its Arnold Schwarzenegger product line, will donate to a charity chosen by Arnold Schwarzenegger any remaining usable product, and otherwise destroy any products currently in inventory. This inventory was written off to “Impairment of assets” in the Consolidate Statement of Operations as it had no future value. See additional information in Note 7. In addition, in connection with the transaction, the 780,000 shares of Company common stock held by Marine MP were sold to a third party on January 4, 2017 in exchange for an aggregate payment by such third party of $1,677,000 to the AS Parties. See additional information in Note 19.

 

ETW

 

In July 2014, the Company entered into an Endorsement Agreement with ETW. Under the terms of the agreement, Tiger Woods agreed to endorse certain of the Company’s products and use a golf bag during all professional golf play that prominently displayed the MusclePharm name and logo. In May 2016, the Company entered into a settlement agreement with ETW, which eliminates all costs and terminates all future commitments under the Endorsement Agreement. See additional information in Note 5 and Note 15.

 

 

Contingencies

 

In the normal course of business or otherwise, the Company may become involved in legal proceedings. The Company will accrue a liability for such matters when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount can be reasonably estimated. When only a range of possible loss can be established, the most probable amount in the range is accrued. If no amount within this range is a better estimate than any other amount within the range, the minimum amount in the range is accrued. The accrual for a litigation loss contingency might include, for example, estimates of potential damages, outside legal fees and other directly related costs expected to be incurred. As of December 31, 2016, the Company was involved in the following material legal proceedings described below.

 

Supplier Complaint

 

In January 2016, ThermoLife International LLC (“ThermoLife”), a supplier of nitrates to MusclePharm, filed a complaint against the Company in Arizona state court. In its complaint, ThermoLife alleges that the Company failed to meet minimum purchase requirements contained in the parties’ supply agreement. In March 2016, the Company filed an answer to ThermoLife’s complaint, denying the allegations contained in the complaint, and filed a counterclaim alleging that ThermoLife breached its express warranty to MusclePharm because ThermoLife’s products were defective and could not be incorporated into the Company’s products. Therefore, the Company believes that ThermoLife’s complaint is without merit. The lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase.

 

Former Executive Lawsuit

 

In December 2015, the Company accepted notice by Mr. Richard Estalella (“Estalella”) to terminate his employment as the Company’s President. Although Estalella sought to terminate his employment with the Company for “Good Reason,” as defined in Estalella’s employment agreement with the Company (the “Employment Agreement”), the Company advised Estalella that it deemed his resignation to be without Good Reason.

 

In February 2016, Estalella filed a complaint in Colorado state court against the Company and Ryan Drexler, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, alleging, among other things, that the Company breached the Employment Agreement, and seeking certain equitable relief and unspecified damages. The Company believes Estalella’s claims are without merit. At the Company’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in June 2016, Estalella was not reelected to the Board and is no longer a member of the Board. As of the date of this report, the Company has evaluated the potential outcome of this lawsuit and recorded the liability consistent with its policy. The lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase.

 

Shareholder Derivative Complaint

 

In October 2015, Brian D. Gartner, derivatively and on behalf of MusclePharm Corporation, filed a verified shareholder derivative complaint in the 8th District Court, State of Nevada, Clark County (No. A-15-726810-B) alleging, among other things, breaches of fiduciary duty as members of the Board and/or executive officers of the Company against Brad Pyatt, Lawrence S. Meer, Donald W. Prosser, Richard Estalella, Jeremy R. Deluca, Michael J. Doron, Cory Gregory, L. Gary Davis, James J. Greenwell, John H. Bluher and Daniel J. McClory. Mr. Gartner alleges a series of accounting and disclosure failures resulted in the filing of materially false and misleading filings with the SEC from 2010 through July 2014, resulting in settlement with the SEC requiring payment of $700,000 of civil penalties. In December 2016, the case was dismissed without prejudice.

 

 

Insurance Carrier Lawsuit

 

The Company is engaged in litigation with insurance carrier Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. arising out of Liberty’s denial of coverage. In 2014, the Company sought coverage under an insurance policy with Liberty for claims against directors and officers of the Company arising out of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Liberty denied coverage, and, on February 12, 2015, the Company filed a complaint in the District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado against Liberty claiming wrongful and unreasonable denial of coverage for the cost and expenses incurred in connection with the SEC investigation and related matters. Liberty removed the complaint to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, which in August 2016 granted Liberty’s motion for summary judgment, denying coverage and dismissing the Company’s claims with prejudice, and denied the Company’s motion for summary judgment. The Company filed an appeal in November 2016. The appeal is currently in the discovery phase and the parties are in active settlement negotiations.

 

Manchester City Football Group

 

The Company is engaged in a dispute with City Football Group Limited (“CFG”), the owner of Manchester City Football Group, concerning amounts allegedly owed by the Company under a Sponsorship Agreement with CFG. In August 2016, CFG commenced arbitration in the United Kingdom against the Company, seeking approximately $8.3 million for the Company’s purported breach of the Agreement. The Company answered on October 7, 2016. The dispute is currently in arbitration.

 

Sponsorship and Endorsement Contract Liabilities

 

The Company has various non-cancelable endorsement and sponsorship agreements with terms expiring through 2019. The total value of future contractual payments as of December 31, 2016 are as follows (in thousands):

 

    For the Year Ending December 31,    
    2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Thereafter   Total
Outstanding Payments                                                        
Endorsement   $ 274     $ 2     $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —       $ 276  
Sponsorship     2,467       2,459       1,040       —         —         —         5,966  
Total future payments   $ 2,741     $ 2,461     $ 1,040     $ —       $ —       $ —       $ 6,242