Kim Dotcom & Baboom Sever All Ties

In a surprise move Kim Dotcom has sold all of his shares in music startup Baboom. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Baboom chief executive Grant Edmundson said that the company will now be able to be judged on its own merits, rather than on the "brand equity (or otherwise) of its shareholder base."

baboomOn January 20, 2014, Kim Dotcom celebrated the two-year anniversary of the raid on his New Zealand mansion by releasing his brand new album ‘Good Times’.

In addition to being the first Dotcom collection distributed commercially, the album was also notable for soft-launching Baboom. The fledging music service was to provide the platform for the entrepreneur’s assault on the major label-controlled recording business.

From the beginning Baboom’s stated aim was to disrupt the music industry by closing the gap between artists and fans, rewarding the former with most of the profits. The latter would be put in a win-win situation via free ad-supported music streaming.

The one constant that remained throughout was Kim Dotcom himself, a person with whom the service was inextricably linked, both financially and from branding and marketing perspectives. Today, however, that has all come to an end.

According to a new Particulars of Shareholding document filed this morning, Coatesville Trustee Services Limited – Dotcom’s family trust – has sold all of its shares in Baboom.

Before the sale Michael Sorensen’s Vig Limited, which also holds 13044 shares (9.97%) in Mega.co.nz, held 45% of Baboom’s shares. Company documents reveal that Vig now owns 90% after Dotcom’s family trust shares were transferred to the company.


The new Baboom shareholding

baboomshares

As can be seen above, the remaining 10% is held by Xavier Buck of Dicé Invest. In November 2013, Buck, who is also a director at Domaintools, said he would be heading up MEGA Europe.

Perhaps the most curious element of Dotcom’s exit from the business is the language being used by Baboom chief executive Grant Edmundson. While he wishes the Baboom founder well, a single sentence distances Dotcom from the company in every possible way.

“The transaction means Dotcom no longer has any equity or role in Baboom, nor any relationship with the company,” Edmundson said.

“Kim is moving on to focus on other projects and both camps wish each other well with future plans.”

TorrentFreak spoke with Edmundson and asked if Dotcom’s exit from the company had been his choice alone, Baboom’s, or by mutual agreement. He told us that he would not comment on matters between shareholders. However, when questioned on whether Baboom’s brand would be affected by the departure of its founder, Edmundson was more forthcoming.

“In terms of the impact on Baboom, my view is that the Baboom service will now be able to be judged on its own merits rather than being assessed on the brand equity (or otherwise) of its shareholder base,” the Baboom CEO said.

Kim Dotcom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baboom is currently trying to raise US$3.98m (NZ$5.05m) and a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. The company sought to raise the funds from investors in return for 11.5% of its shares with the offer closing in July, but that deadline was amended to make it open-ended.

Baboom is scheduled to debut in the fourth quarter of 2014, although no firm launch date has been provided by the company.

Update: Kim Dotcom has taken to Twitter:

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