Anonymous BrandPartners allegations unsupported
To the editor:On July 16, 2010, the New Hampshire Business Review, under the byline of Bob Sanders, published an article critical of certain business practices of BrandPartners and suggesting improprieties of certain board members. The allegations of disgruntled former employees, who declined to be identified and who have questionable motives, were the basis for the article and should have been looked at in that light.Your publication’s obligation is to report on the facts and not to blindly present unsupported allegations from individuals who remain anonymous to avoid responsibility or liability for untrue statements. There are many public documents filed with the SEC, including quarterly and annual reports, which contradict statements made in the article. Among them: loan documents and filings that identify the mezzanine lender and documents that detail the fact that the loan, which was inherited from a prior board of directors as a result of the 2001 leveraged buyout, had been renegotiated in 2004 by the new board. There are also public documents showing the company filed lawsuits in Stafford County in 2009 against former key executives, Frank Beardsworth and Chris Howe, alleging serious breaches against the company, including launching a new company on company time and using company resources to compete against BrandPartners. Mr. Sanders was aware of the lawsuits, and you should be further aware that one of the employees agreed to pay damages to the company for his actions.Your reporter, by reviewing the lawsuits, should also have known that the key executives, in April 2009, were acting against the company when employees were contacting government officials about BrandPartners. So, rather than advocate their position in the courtroom, it appears that these individuals chose to pursue a path of publicly harassing BrandPartners and its board members, a cause which your publication has now advanced.Furthermore, Mr. Sanders stated that on February 19, 2009, four large shareholders wrote a letter to the company demanding that a shareholder meeting be scheduled. He was aware of the Stockholders Meeting that was held on August 7, 2009, which was documented in an SEC filing and at which the shareholders unanimously elected all board members with more than 70 percent of the vote, yet Mr. Sanders made no such mention of the meeting.There are also many other inaccuracies in the article, including the fact that the company was not in financial trouble on April 23, 2009, nor was it in trouble at the end of its second quarter in 2009; the company’s first quarter in 2009 was profitable, the second quarter in 2009 had a slight loss, but more importantly the company had not borrowed any money against its line of credit with its bank through June 2009. These are all facts from the first and second quarter filings with the SEC.Furthermore, the separation agreement referred to in the article was not lucrative, rather it was substantially less than the company’s contractual obligation; again, this information is in the public filings.With respect to the article’s implication that there was some conspiracy or racketeering, these are totally untrue, baseless and libelous allegations that have no place in a respectable business publication. The company urges you to take the time to review the publicly available information and correct the numerous false statements made by former employees with ulterior motives hiding behind anonymity in the article. Board of Directors BrandPartners Group Inc.