Baeres raises defense

Under fire in court, topper talks stocks

Intertainment chief Barry Baeres defended himself Tuesday against claims that he needed a slate of films from Franchise Pictures to keep his company’s stock price up and had very little concern about the actual budgets.

Franchise attorney Bill Price showed that as the majority shareholder of Intertainment, Baeres had a huge stake in the stock price.

Under cross-examination, Baeres conceded that the 20-point rise in the stock price after the 60-picture deal with Franchise was announced translated into a $78 million increase in the value of his own stock. Baeres also pointed out that the stock price quickly went back down after the announcement.

In other cross-examination, Price tried to draw parallels between an acknowledged series of oral agreements Baeres and Samaha entered into over purchasing Intertainment stock and the alleged secret deal to inflate the budgets.

Baeres testified that when he wanted to license “The Whole Nine Yards,” Samaha told him there were other buyers and he needed an incentive to sell to Baeres. Baeres offered him Intertainment stock at the “friends and family price,” which Samaha bought, earning a profit of $1.5 million.

Baeres pointed out that while he facilitated the stock sale, the deal was really with the offering bank.