Tuesday 12 June 2012

Damp squibs

Some interesting developments on several fronts in recent weeks.

At Battersea we have had the news that SP Setia have been named preferred bidder and are conducting 28 days due diligence which will determine if the project is something they will or can pursue. A recent Telegraph interview with the boss of Setia told us that they rule nothing out at present whilst also seemingly excluding a stadium. There is much to be read between the lines though. We are still hopeful they will approach the club to take care of the Power Station. A little birdie has told us that the bid from Setia was worth more in the region of 500 million plus a pledge to spend 250 million on the Northern Line extension. Chelsea's bid was more realistic and made on the back of sound advice. The administrators, as we said, went for money (unsurprisingly) but doubts remain about Setia's backers and quite how much of the money they have ready to commit. Which is where CFC might come in. Wandsworth council are not entirely enamoured with the idea of a CFC presence at the site and nor are the GLA but one imagines a tie up with Setia will recalibrate thinking should the prospect of further decay be the alternative.

Which gets us thinking once more about Earl's Court which the same birdie believes is still in the mix. The club's recent dismissive swatting of LBHF's almost jubilant response to the Battersea news was encouraging to see. It is time for that particular nonsense to stop. Since CapCo don't really have any money - and LBHF have even less - we shall see how the pair respond to a bit of wad-waving......

It has been a week of turbulence and damp squibs over at the CPO board. The late notification of EGM resolutions was silly and careless but we can only imagine that the board's one legal expert was too busy with his coruscating and damning report on share issues to ensure procedural correctness. Except, it wasn't quite the bombshell some people hoped and expected it would be. The extraordinary amount of time it took to eventually produce nothing revealing or helpful at all led some to believe it would be explosive. It wasn't and nothing beyond mild incompetence was the result. Lots of options for what to do now gave us a clue as to the subtext Mr Smith wanted to promote (write to people who bought shares and ask them to confess to dodgy dealing etc.) but we ought to now put this irrelevance behind us. The late notification which means a rescheduling of the EGM is largely a collective responsibility and nobody escapes entirely without blame but Frankham should keep a much closer eye on his board and assume nothing is how it should be. We would hope he is calling a meeting of his board as soon as possible to find out what occurred and it would be nice to read the minutes of the meeting too...

The number of resolutions was extremely low and we would have imagined that after the last AGM, shareholders would have bombarded the board with ideas and resolutions. Perhaps they were waiting to see what Mr Smith would turn up in his report before submitting proposals? If so, it is a good job he turned up nothing at all.

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