Shark Tank controversy: Steve Baxter storms off set

2 min read
Steve Baxter

"F*** it!"

A bidding war over some baby dolls on Tuesday night's episode of Shark Tank got so heated that Steve Baxter ended up storming off set. 

Photographers Sandra and Brendan Moffatt went on the show hoping to get a $200,000 investment for a 20 per cent  stake in their product, Stand in Baby, a lifelike newborn baby mannequin originally designed to help photographers pose newborns during shoots.

Sandra explained to the Sharks:

“There are heaps of mannequins available, but surprisingly, there were none that required you to support the head, or allowed you to practice realistic handling and positioning of a newborn."

“When you’re taking a photo a baby, you need to take several photos. That means you have to move them. We had to learn to move and reposition babies to get the optimal amount of photos we could.”

The couple had already invested $220,000 of their own money into the business and quickly made it back thanks to strong sales.

However, things took a turn when Brendan couldn't answer the question of how much revenue the company had made. 

He soon revealed that their product was also being used in the medical industry for antenatal training, which is when the Sharks grew more interested in the product. 

Steve Baxter offered to meet their initial request of $200,000 for a 20 per cent stake, saying, "The possibility of this product is amazing."

However, investor Andrew Banks then chipped in, saying he could offer them $200,000 for a 25 per cent stake, and Greencross founder Glen Richards offered $200,000 for 33 per cent, and Boost Juice founder Janine Allis offered $200,000 for 30 per cent. 

Sandra and Brendan then asked Andrew whether he'd be prepared to improve his offer by lowering his percentage stake and partner with another Shark. 

Andrew said he'd partner with Glen to offer $200,000 for 20 per cent, chipping in $100,000 each.

Steve then jumped in and asked, "Are you rejecting my offer?"

“You’ve got them down to 20 per cent and you’ve ignored me. Interesting negotiation tactic. I do know that I am the most qualified with respect to my medical investments, especially in the US. I’m the one who came out and gave you what you asked for without having to come back and beg.”

The couple went with Andrew and Glen's offer, and after they left Steve declared, "F*** it," and walked off the set. 

Naomi said, “I think this is the maddest I’ve seen Steve all season."

Andrew added, "I can't believe it."

Speaking with News.Com.Au the day after filming, Steve said he was "still a bit raw" about missing out on the "little Chucky dolls". 

“We were all exceptionally sceptical, but then they told us about the market... They were very honest in the way they approached it — except for the way they took the deal in the end. I stormed off the stage.”

Glen said:

"Occasionally a product will turn up and you go, holy s**t, that’s going to go”.

“We all had a pretty big fight [over the dolls] yesterday... That was a good deal. So that’s a high-risk investment with a high likelihood of success.”

Steve added the doll was a high-risk product that hadn't been tested. 

“None of us actually knew that existed as a problem before we walked in and sat there, but the guys that have done the investment are going to take a real swing at that one.”

Image: Channel Ten


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Written By Marni Dixit