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Penis Pill’s Smilin’ Bob to Get a new Owner

A Greater Cincinnati buyer is offering $2.75 million for “Smilin’ Bob” and the rest of the assets of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals.

Berkeley’s bankruptcy trustee, Richard Nelson, said Monday the company has signed an asset purchase agreement with an unidentified local buyer that would include all of Berkeley’s herbal supplement brands, including Enzyte and its fictional pitchman, Smilin’ Bob.

Berkeley filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after the company and a dozen of its top officials and associates were convicted of fraud, conspiracy or money laundering charges.

Nelson would not name the potential buyer, but he said the sale would keep the Forest Park company in business and retain its 200 employees.

“If this buyer ends up being the successful buyer, there is no anticipated loss of jobs,” Nelson said.

The buyer still could be outbid when an auction is held Dec. 9 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for all of Berkeley’s assets. Nelson said others have expressed interest in the company, but it’s unclear how much they would be willing to pay for the assets.

Company officials warned employees last month that the sale of Berkeley’s assets to another buyer could result in “mass layoffs.”

Berkeley still owes the federal government $474 million as part of a forfeiture order that followed the criminal trial in Cincinnati this year. Company officials have said they don’t have the money, and the potential $2.75 million sale of assets suggests the government only will recover a fraction of the total forfeiture.

The new owner of Berkeley’s assets would not be on the hook for the forfeiture. Instead, the money paid for the assets would be divvied up by the government and other creditors.

Nelson asked U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel last week to extend the Nov. 25 deadline for paying the forfeiture penalty to at least Jan. 31 so the company will have more time to finalize the sale. Government lawyers declined comment on the impending sale.

Berkeley distributes more than a dozen brands of herbal supplement pills and is best-known for Enzyte, a “male enhancement” pill hawked in TV commercials by a grinning character known as Smilin’ Bob.


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