Bravo! Brands slashes workforce in cost-cutting move

by Eric Schroeder
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NORTH PALM BEACH, FLA. — Bravo! Brands Inc., a manufacturer of vitamin-fortified, flavored milk drinks and other beverages, has terminated more than half of its employees as part of a plan to restructure its business in an effort to improve its financial performance.

On Tuesday, the company terminated the employment of Michael Edwards, chief revenue officer. The move came one day after the company’s board of directors voted to terminate the employment of Roy G. Warren, who has been chief executive officer since 1999 and president since 2006. Mr. Warren will remain as a director of the company.

On April 27, Bravo! terminated 34 of its 62 employees, including the release of Stanley Harris, who has been the company’s chief marketing officer since January 2006.

According to Bravo!, the terminations will cut the company’s total monthly payroll expense by more than 50%.

Despite the cuts, Bravo! said it has retained key personnel to enable the company to move forward in implementing possible new distribution and production arrangements.

"Recent events, including disappointing revenue growth and our stock trading price, have made our efforts to obtain adequate funding to continue at our present size difficult," said Ben Patipa, chief operating officer. "As a result, we must downsize. More important, however, this reduction in work force is but a part of a larger plan to restructure our business in an effort to give us a better opportunity to move toward profitability."

Separate from the personnel announcement, Bravo! said it closed a funding transaction with six accredited institutional investors, for the issuance and sale of 18.5 million shares of the company’s common stock for $740,000. In addition, the company issued five year warrants for the purchase of an additional 9.25 million shares of common stock at an exercise price of 4c per share.

Shares of Bravo! Brands closed May 1 at 6c per share, down sharply from 62c per share on May 1, 2006.

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