Full Disclosure: I bought $200 worth of TTSA stock a few weeks ago.
By Joe Murgia
“To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science Inc.” (TTSA) filed their Semiannual SEC Report a few weeks ago and all hell broke loose. Folks looked at the numbers listed and many declared the end was near for TTSA. Myself and several others warned folks not to jump to conclusions as this was a start-up and lots of them tend to wallow in debt for the first few years. But I’m no financial whiz so I couldn’t say anything with a lot of confidence.
Nobody from TTSA made any statements to clear things up, silence the naysayers and allay the fears of investors. And in my opinion, that was a mistake. Today, Eric Berger of Ars Technica, decided to take a shot with a hit piece aimed at DeLonge, TTSA and those financials.
And DeLonge responded with a strongly worded post on Instagram:
BLATENT LIE — APPARENTLY, THIS WRITER CAN’T READ. BTW- TTSA never even raised $37m!!? So how in the hell did we spend it?! Lord. I ask all of you that believe in the @tothestarsacademy mission to go write a complaint on their website RIGHT NOW for trying to hurt an admirable effort to help humanity by using negative attacks and—-> lies.
OUR LETTER TO THEM:
Dear Ars Technica— I am writing you regarding the article posted to Ars Technica this morning titled ‘All the dumb things? Blink 182 front man’s UFO project $37 million in debt’ by Eric Berger. We were surprised Ars Technica would allow Mr. Berger to post such an article without asking either Mr. DeLonge or To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science for comment.
This article is highly misleading and grossly mischaracterizes statements in an SEC filing. Had Mr. Berger bothered to reach out to us for comment this could have been prevented. Mr. Berger apparently did not EVEN READ the filing in its entirety, and clearly did not understand the excerpt of the SEC filing he quotes.
The approximate $37 million stockholders’ deficit is NOT DEBT as he characterized it but is attributable to stock-based compensation expense. IT IS NOT RELATED TO THE OPERATIONAL RESULTS OF THE COMPANY. The Consolidated Balance Sheets of To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science in the SEC filing quoted by your author clearly shows the approximately $37 million deficit is attributed to Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit).
The filing goes on to explain the mechanism for calculating stock-based compensation and details the various grants of stock options by the company. Mr. Berger’s characterizations of this as debt implies that it stems from traditional borrowings.
Had Mr. Berger bothered to email or call us we could have directed him to these portions of the SEC filing and walked him through it. For Mr. Berger to make the conclusions he did on incomplete research and his own interpretations without contacting Mr. DeLonge or the company is inexcusable.
We request that you print this letter in full within the article as our statement.
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And below is DeLonge’s response to one of his followers on Instagram. This could explain why DeLonge and TTSA haven’t been able to share many definitive updates thus far.
@brandon.wilson. Sorry, because we are a SEC qualified company I can’t tell you something that I don’t tell every shareholder at the same time. So, every entertainment contract, scientific study, partnership and US GOV opportunity must be vetted, signed, pass legal, and communicated delicately. So everything done over the last 12 months will be announced soon.
Example: Multiple TV series and Feature Films have been in the very normal legal contract process for 5 months. Going through the offer, then terms, then the long form contract. Normally an announcement would have happened with the offer.. now I have to wait till it is completely done. Understand? Many big things are coming.