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Sex.com sold (again) for $13m

Category : Domain names, Journalism, Sex.com · by Oct 20th, 2010

A set of three documents filed in California Bankruptcy Court earlier this week reveal that the world’s most valuable domain name – Sex.com – has been sold for $13m, just one million dollars more than it was sold for back in January 2006.

The tale of Sex.com is a fascinating and complex one (I wrote a book about it), and never short of twists and turns. The most recent twist came earlier this year when the company that bought Sex.com from Gary Kremen in 2006 (for $12m plus $2m in stock and other options), Escom LLC, declared bankruptcy. Escom has been unable to make Sex.com sufficiently profitable and was overdue on interest and debt repayments.

This announcement was quickly followed by the news that Sex.com would be put up for public auction – the time, date and location and the need to be holding a cheque for $1 million to even be allowed in the room, were published. But then, one of the owners of Escom, Michael Mann, broke cover (Escom has always been purposefully cloaked in corporate law cloth) in order to prevent the auction going ahead.

After some more fighting, it was agreed in July that the Sex.com would be sold in a closed auction run by domain brokers Sedo.

That auction ended at the end of September but no news emerged, although Sedo did tell me that something had been agreed but they weren’t in a position to discuss it. Finally, a set of three documents provided to the Central District Court of California on Monday, put into the record on Tuesday and first noticed by Kevin Murphy/DomainIncite today outlined the sale of Sex.com by Escom to another strange corporation, Clover Holdings Ltd, based in Caribbean offshore tax haven St Vincent and Grenadines.

You can view all three documents here: 115 (details of the sale); 116 (legal request to speed up sale); and 117 (setting the date for a hearing on 27 October). I think I’ll attend the hearing.

Anyway, possibly the most interesting thing, apart from the peculiar behaviour of all parties yet again, is that the domain has gone up in price by only $1m in nearly five years.

  • Does this mean that Gary Kremen got a great price back in 2006?
  • Does it mean that the value of dot-coms, even Sex.com, is stabilising?
  • Or does it mean that the buyers kept Escom down to the original price because they knew Escom had no real choice?

I’m not sure. I’ll give it some thought. My feeling is a bit of all of them, but mainly the last one.

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(4) comments

Doug Isenberg
4 years ago ·

Thanks for continuing to follow this fascinating domain name story, Kieren, and great to see you recently at the CADNA meeting in New York.

[…] Sex.com sold (again) for $13m“A set of three documents filed in California Bankruptcy Court earlier this week reveal that the world’s most valuable domain name – Sex.com – has been sold for $13m, just one million dollars more than it was sold for back in January 2006.” The buyer is a corporation called Clover Holdings based in St Vincent in the Caribbean. […]

[…] Sex.com sold (again) for $13m“A set of three documents filed in California Bankruptcy Court earlier this week reveal that the world’s most valuable domain name – Sex.com – has been sold for $13m, just one million dollars more than it was sold for back in January 2006.” The buyer is a corporation called Clover Holdings based in St Vincent in the Caribbean. […]

[…] are more of a cautionary tale for a first-time CEO like me than for the space as an opportunity."Sex.com sold (again) for $13m"A set of three documents filed in California Bankruptcy Court earlier this week reveal that the […]

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