Boston, MA- A Massachusetts Judge has released the sealed documents from Staple’s founder Tom Stemberg’s divorce in which Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney testified about the office supply store’s value.
Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, along with the Boston Globe asked a court to unseal the documents, because Allred believed Mr. Romney lied about the company’s value in order to benefit his friend. Allred hoped it would be a game changer and possibly shift Romney’s campaign momentum. But will it change the presidential race? Probably not.
The court documents are peppered with questions about the value of the Staples stock awarded to Maureen Sullivan Stemberg.
According to the documents, in fall 1987, Tom Stemberg had asked the Staples board, to place a value on common shares of stock because he was going through a divorce.
Sullivan Stemberg’s divorce attorney managed to get her a significant chuck, roughly 800,000, of Staples’ common shares which she sold for a little over $2 a share. She was also allowed to retain a family home valued at $600,000
Just a couple of years later, when the stock went public it sold for $19 a share, netting Bain Capital a $13 million profit on a $2.5 million investment.
Romney along with other board members agreed to value common shares at one-tenth of a cent, according to the documents. But on the stand Romney acknowledged that the stock was probably worth $1.30 a share.
Allred insists that unless Sullivan Stemberg is allowed to speak, the unsealed documents are worthless. Stemberg Sullivan signed a confidentiality agreement has prevented her from speaking publically, but the judge refused to overturn the agreement.
A source told the Globe that Romney lied on the stand to help his friend dodge a costly divorce settlement. However, the court documents don’t really confirm the story and won’t significantly impact the outcome of the election.