Shares plummet at Planet Hollywood
While spokesmen on both sides of the Atlantic deny any such plans on the part of the star investors, who include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, the shares fell on Friday to just over $20, one-third below the peak of $32 they touched just a month ago.
Wall Street analysts point out that the fall happened as the stars have come to the end of a "lock-in" period during which their shares were untradeable. Now they are free to sell, and some of them would stand to make as much as $50m if they did.
Without the big-name owners, the experts warn, the brand would lose the glamour that is its unique strength. "It would send a bad signal - celebrity support is the key competitive advantage of the company," said one analyst.
Matthew Freud, Planet Hollywood's London spokesman, said speculation about the celebrities selling is "inevitable when you get the lifting of the restrictions". But he added: "Those restrictions have been lifted for a week and there is no sign of a celebrity looking to sell shares."
With the shares sliding, however, stock market experts used to poring over financial tables now find themselves scrutinising Hollywood gossip sheets and the glossy press to keep an eye on Planet Hollywood's glitzy shareholders.
It is the affairs of Mr Stallone that have aroused most interest, since the star of the Rocky and Rambo movies was recently involved in a protracted and bitter legal battle with his former financial manager.
A long article in New York Magazine last week described his dispute with his former stepfather, Anthony Filiti, who managed the star's money for five years and, says Stallone, cost him millions. The matter ended up in court when Mr Filiti filed law suits against the star and his new managers and Stallone counter-sued. In the end, they settled on undisclosed terms.
Mr Filiti's place in Stallone's affairs has been taken by Robert Earl, Planet Hollywood's billionaire-founder and chairman, who has lent his considerable talent to rearranging the actor's finances.
Last week in Los Angeles, Mr Earl insisted the stars were standing by Planet Hollywood: "100 per cent, there are no sellers." But he accepted that without the "lock-in", the company was vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. Removing the stars' handcuffs, he said, made Planet Hollywood like any other company, where "someone has stock which is stock with no restrictions".
In London, Mr Freud pointed out that this week will see the gala opening of another European branch, this time in Amsterdam. Ten or 12 stars will be there - a figure, he claimed, bettered only by the Oscar ceremony.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...
£100 - £160 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: BTEC and...
£60 - £80 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: We are loo...
£100 - £150 per day + Flexible with benefits: Randstad Education Group: Key St...