We find out now what Ocean Park Advisors has been doing on SCO's behalf since they were hired by the Chapter 11 Trustee Edward Cahn. Submitting a bill for $196,002.50. Gulp. For six weeks' work. When you see the breakdown of their bill, in the attached Exhibit A, you'll see that they have been going over the company with a fine tooth comb.
Their job is to try to save the company, and let's face it, that's a job for Superman. But you know what? If paying professionals could save SCO, it would have happened already. SCO is Kryptonite, y'all. And indeed, by my reading of the bill, there is no salvation in sight just yet, despite all their hard work. I guess the advisors and hand holders will just have to keep their noses to the grindstone, trying to crack this nut, until every last penny SCO has is gone. After all, we don't want to give up on SCO too soon.
Here are the filings:
On page 4, we see the bill broken down by Ocean Park employee. $51,340 is the total for Bruce.
Guess what $22,000+ was for? "Prep/Participate in Company management calls and meetings." It seems there were daily calls. I'd want at *least* that much to spend 52.3 hours doing that in six weeks, wouldn't you? Talk about Dante's Inferno.
12/08/2009 - 985 - Monthly Application for Compensation // First Combined Monthly Fee Application of Ocean Park Advisors, LLC for the Period of September 15, 2009 Through October 31, 2009 Filed by Edward N. Cahn, Chapter 11 Trustee for The SCO Group, Inc., et al.. Objections due by 12/28/2009. (Attachments: # 1 Notice # 2 Exhibit A # 3 Exhibit B) (Fatell, Bonnie) (Entered: 12/08/2009)
I see 15 hours of "Non-working Travel Time". $6,375.00 for non-working travel time. I'm telling you. Bankruptcy court is the slushiest hog trough I have ever seen. It's perfectly legitimate, of course. It means they only charge part of the time spent traveling, and as you'll see, some of these guys had to leave LA to go to Salt Lake City and do meetings with Ralph Yarro and Ryan Tibbitts, and you know what a thrill that would be. That's one guy's bill.
Oh my. What about Mark? His bill is $86,360.00. Of the total, most of Mark's time was working on the restructuring plan. A restructuring plan. Any restructuring plan. It had better be golden. Mark is charging $45,305 for 106.6 hours of that, and Bruce spent 23.1 hours on the plan, so he is charging a mere $9,817.50. He is charging for 24.1 hours in those blasted management calls and meetings at $10,242.50. He did spend time trying to line up DIP lenders.
OMG. There's another guy, Vinod, pondering SCO's survival and working on the details of how to accomplish it, at a total bill of $46,000. He spent most of his time analyzing and preparing budgets and reports. The true nitty gritty. I assume he intends to show his work product in the great bye and bye. Vinod also reviewed "the Norris proposal". And then died laughing, I expect. Are these dudes out of their ever-loving minds? The Norris proposal? The one the judge said wasn't offered in good faith? That one? It does seem to have disappeared by the end of the six weeks, although you can't be certain. Sharks don't leave the waters. They just circle around.
And then there is Michael, who modestly is billing at $12,302.50, mostly on budgets and reports. But he also says he spent time reviewing "7.23.09 Board Minutes". Somebody is working on a press release. I have an idea for what it might look like: "SCO Now Really Bankrupt At Last." The text will read something like this:
The SCO Group, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with millions and millions [PDF] in cash in the bank and in assets, has finally achieved total financial meltdown after spending more than the allotted time in bankruptcy protection and all their money on professional advisors, and now really, no foolin', hasn't a dime left to give to anybody. Nyah, nyah, Novell. Relax. Just kidding around. Sorta. Let's get serious.
Maybe someone besides us chickens needs to pay just a little more attention to the fundamentals, though. Like tech fundamentals. Like the actual history of Unix and Linux. Like how the GPL works. Nothing else matters if you don't do that, frankly, because that is what any trial will be about. I see 2.8 hours on "Emails and analysis related to liquidity and restructuring plan." Ah, that's better. Liquidity. Maybe 20.8 hours on that would be better still. Chapter 7 anyone?
"I guess we'll have to sue some Linux end users or something," said Edward Cahn, SCO's Chapter 11 Trustee. "Or find some clueless dopes who really hate Linux enough to buy a big hopeless lawsuit, someone who thinks it's of value to pretend Linux is infringing for a little while longer. Otherwise, we're really sunk."
Mark spent 8.5 hours interviewing all the New Jersey office personnel and then discussed a restructuring plan with New Jersey management. That's the first sensible notation I've seen. New Jersey guys actually work. I see Mark also met with Ralph Yarro. I can just imagine that conversation. "Sue, baby, sue. To our utter destruction." From his lips to God's ears, as they say. So far, I'd say they are right on track.
Then I see a review of "salary reductions". Ah, the reality principle. Meanwhile Bruce began working on a spreadsheet about the restructuring plan. Let me guess. Excel.
Poor Mark had to go to Salt Lake City and work there a while. Must have felt like Spencer Tracy in the movie The Desk Set, where everyone treats him like a disease because they have heard he's trying to decide who to fire. And indeed that does seem to be exactly why he's there. He reviewed emails while waiting for the plane. Well, what would you do? He was daydreaming, I am guessing, that he was already back home. At last.
Again I see a notation about a press release about the restructuring plan, but the date is October, mid October, and we're in December now, so where is it? I guess it must be the one about Darl being terminated.
Uh oh. "Continued working on restructuring plan with focus on employee terminations." See? Vinod gets the most interesting task."Reviewed Fringe and Benefit Analysis sent by Company." I'm sure that was eye-poppingly interesting. Suggestion: look into who gets what if there is a settlement, like with AutoZone. Anybody get any bonuses for that? Like Boies Schiller, for example? Any execs? You might find it interesting to look at
this history of an earlier litigation involving benefits. Or is this the new leaner and meaner SCO? Mark worked with debtor on "issues with terminated employees." Like, "Hey, Darl told us we were going to win. What happened?" Meanwhile, they're working on a cash flow model and a "SCO action item list". I'm trying to restrain my sense of humor, so as not to be mean, but my mind is humming with ideas for SCO action items for a to do list.
Let me be serious. I see Mark spent 6 hours reviewing emails relating to further "restructuring of sales and europe". That's a good idea, actually. Like, anybody have an explanation for the funds that ended up at the foreign offices? Like Japan, for example? Or how Hans Bayer and "Mike Olsen" signed the corporate form in Germany, Bayer and Olson as co-CEO of SCO Germany? Didn't Darl tell the bankruptcy court under oath that Bayer was just a sales guy, definitely not an executive, who wasn't authorized to speak for SCO? Oops. Can anybody explain that disparity? Not that the bankruptcy court seems to care what whoppers get told. But were these two ever CEO of SCO Germany? If so, how come they don't know how to spell Olson properly? And he left SCO in October of 2007, no? I may have dropped a stitch, I suppose. Or maybe they forgot to tell us something?
I notice there is an amended filing, signed by Ken Nielsen instead, now said to be CEO of SCO Germany. I hope he has an accountant to help him, after his performance at the last bankruptcy hearing he testified at. Wasn't he the guy who admitted on the stand that the cash burn of the company was actually $100,000 higher per month than his submitted numbers?
Seriously, about Germany, go here, choose English, then search for SCO Group, then look at the list, and compare the two items on the list with the red typeface, and look at the signatures on the two filings. Google Translate can do the rest for you. Seriously, when was Hans Bayer the CEO? And why didn't anyone tell Darl? Maybe that is why the next notation on the Ocean Park bill is "Preparation for and participation in a call with Ch. 11 Trustee and legal advisors." Or maybe I'm misinformed that there is a fine for falsely signing such a form as CEO if you are not actually the CEO?
At the end of October, I see Mark is working on "cultivation of alternative funders." So something didn't work out. And Vinod is going over all the Boies Schiller bills "as requested by BR." I believe X marks the spot if anyone is looking for why SCO ended up in bankruptcy throwing out old computers and trying to sell fork lifts. There is also an "AR Collections Report" -- whatever that is. Sometimes it's spelled "A.R. collections." Accounts receivable?
Hmm. Michael spent a half hour calling the company "re stock transfer agent; research about same". Research? Nobody knew who he was any more? Maybe he fell into the Bermuda Triangle, like SCO's MIT deep divers, who Darl said proved his case and then disappeared into thin air. Check Blepp's briefcase.
In mid-October, Vinod analyzed a revised "Fringe and Benefit Analysis" sent by SCO and "created comparison to status quo." Then you see multiple entries about revising various models and then a meeting with "company personnel re non-payroll expenses" followed by a review of employee cell phone "details" for employees. Happy days are not here again for SCOfolk. "Followed up with Company on cell phone terminations." Argh! Not the cell phones! Then there's a discussion with HR about benefits. And more notations about reviewing funding for foreign subs. Are they getting the picture yet? More revisions on a new 13-week cash model.
"Review of board member options." Ouch.
But you know what? If only someone had done this long ago, maybe SCO could have paid its pizza bills at least, if not Novell.
Wait. What's this? On October 1, I see a notation: "Settlement proceeds analysis within capitalization table." Is that dreaming of IBM beellions someday or did AutoZone say they'd pay something? Then this: "Review of UK tax history and issues." Issues. What issues?
Bruce did a meeting with Ralph Yarro and a "potential DIP lender" on September 25. I see that listed for Mark also. Vinod had dinner with Ryan Tibbitts. Three days later, there's a meeting about "the general state of business and strategic options" for the company. I'm sure that was fun. At the end of October, there were meetings with two potential DIP lenders and a conference call with one.
And still we wait. Where is the restructuring plan? And the big question: exactly when is SCO's time up in Chapter 11?