Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Note 9 - Commitments and Contingencies

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Note 9 - Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
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. During the three months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, rent expense was $0.1 million and $0.3 million, respectively. During the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, rent expense was $0.2 million and $0.6 million, respectively.

 

As of June 30, 2017, future minimum lease payments are as follows (in thousands):

 

For the Year Ending December 31,      
Remainder of 2017   $ 219  
2018     419  
2019     392  
2020     268  
Total minimum lease payments   $ 1,298  

 

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 June 30, 2017, the Company was leasing two vehicles under the capital lease which were included in “Property and equipment, net” in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets. The original cost of leased assets was $86,000 and the associated accumulated depreciation was $45,000. 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 during 2016, and related assets were written off to restructuring expense for the year ended December 31, 2016.

 

As of June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, short-term capital lease liabilities of $136,000 and $173,000, respectively, were included as a component of current accrued liabilities, and the long-term capital lease liabilities of $204,000 and $332,000, respectively, were included as a component of long-term liabilities in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

As of June 30, 2017, the Company’s future minimum lease payments under capital lease agreements, are as follows (in thousands):

 

For the Year Ending December 31,      
Remainder of 2017   $ 75  
2018     136  
2019     101  
2020     50  
Total minimum lease payments     362  
Less amounts representing interest     (23 )
Present value of minimum lease payments   $ 339  

 

Purchase Commitment

 

Upon the completion of the sale of BioZone on May 9, 2016, the Company entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement whereby the Company is required to purchase a minimum of approximately $2.5 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 of other products must be met in order to waive the shortfall, which is at 25% of the realized shortfall. Due to the timing of achieving the minimum purchase quantities, we are below these targets. As a result, we have reserved an amount to cover the estimated purchase commitment shortfall during the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.

 

Settlements

 

Manchester City Football Group

 

The Company was 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. Subsequent to the end of the current quarter, the dispute was settled.

 

The Company recorded a charge in its Statement of Operations for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 for approximately $1.5 million, representing the discounted value of the unrecorded settlement amount. The Company has now concluded the finalization of all its major legacy endorsement deals.

 

See Note 16. Subsequent Events for additional information.

 

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. The Company paid the settlement in full as of June 30, 2017. 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 Consolidated Statement of Operations during the year ended December 31, 2016. 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.

 

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 June 30, 2017, 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 and seeks monetary damages for the deficiency in purchase amounts. 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 continues to be 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. 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 for accruing for contingencies. The lawsuit continues to be in the discovery phase with a revised trial date expected to commence in May 2018.

 

Insurance Carrier Lawsuit

 

The Company is engaged in litigation with an insurance carrier, Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. (“Liberty”), 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.

 

IRS Audit

 

On April 6, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) selected the Company’s 2014 Federal Income Tax Return for audit. As a result of the audit, the IRS proposed certain adjustments with respect to the tax reporting of the Company’s former executives’ 2014 restricted stock grants. Due to the Company’s current and historical loss position, the proposed adjustments would have no material impact on its Federal income tax. On October 5, 2016, the IRS commenced an audit of the Company’s employment and withholding tax liability for 2014. The IRS is contending that the Company inaccurately reported the value of the restricted stock grants and improperly failed to provide for employment taxes and federal tax withholding on these grants. In addition, the IRS is proposing certain penalties associated with the Company’s filings. On April 4, 2017, the Company received a “30-day letter” from the IRS asserting back taxes and penalties of approximately $5.3 million, of which $0.4 million related to employment taxes and $4.9 million related to federal tax withholding and penalties. Additionally, the IRS is asserting that the Company owes information reporting penalties of approximately $2.0million. The Company’s counsel has submitted a formal protest to the IRS disputing on several grounds all of the proposed adjustments and penalties on the Company’s behalf, and the Company intends to pursue this matter vigorously through the IRS appeal process.  Due to the uncertainty associated with determining the Company’s liability for the asserted taxes and penalties, if any, and to the Company’s inability to ascertain with any reasonable degree of likelihood, as of the date of this report, the outcome of the IRS appeals process, the Company is unable to provide an estimate for its potential liability, if any, associated with these taxes.

 

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 June 30, 2017 are as follows (in thousands):

 

    For the Year Ending December 31,        
    Remainder of 2017     2018     2019     2020     2021     There-after     Total  
Outstanding Payments                                          
Endorsement   $ 95     $ 11     $     $     $     $     $ 106  
Sponsorship     104       144       55                         303  
Total future payments   $ 199     $ 155     $ 55     $     $     $     $ 409