So it was nowhere near $100 million, the loosely reported territory that had many unpaid Huffington Post bloggers seeing red at the time of the site’s acquisition by AOL. Still, for Arianna Huffington, the February 2011 transaction amounted to some very nice Brentwood trickle-down.
Per a nine-page internal AOL document filed in court and obtained by The Smoking Gun, Huffington scored around $21 million when AOL purchased HuffPo. Eighteen million in cash and the rest in the form of AOL stock options with a 20-month vesting period:
Additionally, her employment agreement – which was then being negotiated – called for Huffington to receive another $3 million in equity grants (stock options and restricted stock units)…
Her share amounted to less than seven percent of the sales price (and likely was less than what was earned by several of the site’s financial backers, like SoftBank Partners and Alan Patricof’s Greycroft Partners).
Early reader comments to The Smoking Gun item are, predictably, lacking in sympathy. There’s also this comical breakdown from David Bryan of Columbus, Ohio:
So she gets 21 million. After taxes? It’s about 10 million. Then deduct the cost of her make up artist, hair person, trainer and personal masseuse and driver? That leaves about 5 million in the bank. At the rate of % paid by investments these day? That’s about 100 grand in interest that she will have to pay income on. So about $60 grand a year, then deduct Obamacare? 40K