Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Making sense of numbers (green c**p edition)...

The table below is the projected income statement from a 'community' hydro-electric project doing the rounds in Aberdeen.  Do have a glance at the whole prospectus here.

I checked the 7% claim by putting the payments schedule into an APR calculator and it checks out.  But the payments to investors are backloaded, the £500k share capital (the opportunity being promoted) is obviously being used to repay earlier backers.  They are in a hurry to get it commissioned before mid September when the FIT reduces by about two thirds or so.

Now I'm presuming the "£400,00" in column one is a misprint for "£400,000" and "£500,00" for "£500,000".  And I reckon the bank closing balance at the bottom of column one is supposed to say "£400,000" and not "£500,000" otherwise £100k just disappears.  So the typos, as careless as they are, aren't the issue.

I'm trying to work out what the 'scam' is, because it's bound to be a scam.  As far as I can see, this hydro thing is basically being 'flipped' onto members of public in the form of untradeable illiquid securities that promise to start paying out profitably in a decades time, once another tier of debt investors have been paid back, and once the FIT and leecy prices have grown at a compounded 2%/2.5%.

Anyone else?


Bayard said...

"They are in a hurry to get it commissioned before mid September when the FIT reduces by about two thirds or so."

What, even for hydro?

Steven_L said...

According to the prospectus, if they don't commission in time the FIT reduced and the projected payout reduced from 7% to 2% for members (but presumably doesn't reduce at all for the other tranches of investors).

Bayard said...

I wonder if this is true or whether it's a simple "buy now, offer expires shortly" come-on. OTOH, isn't it a criminal offence to tell lies in a prospectus?

Steven_L said...

Even if the FCA didn;t see it as a 'criminal' issue, I'm sure they could take 'disciplinary' action if there were lies in the prospectus.

But I don't think it would be a sensible lie to tell, as it adds to the risk.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SL, I am sure that your initial assumptions are correct. This is so highly leveraged and subject to so much wild guesswork that the 7% IRR is meaningless, it might turn out much better than that, it might come out negative. More likely the latter.

And yes, the table makes clear that the £400k coming in is to repay "bridging loan capital".