The Infigen … err, we mean the infinite wisdom of Arthur Daley

daleyBy an STT team member

Growing up, television was strictly rationed in our household.

The box in the corner was considered a bit uncouth – unpredictable and liable to bring unwanted things into the lounge.

But there were exceptions: the ABC News (my father), the Mike Walsh Show (my mother) and a weekly half hour of Minder (this was my father, but we were all made to watch).

Minder followed the exploits of Arthur Daley – a socially ambitious but unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman, and anything else from which there was money to be made – whether inside the law or not.

Dad  was a bit of an Arthur Daley himself.

He was a property developer before it became the “thing to do” – buying up concrete boxes on the outskirts of Perth – slapping on a coat of paint, putting in a new garden, fluffing up the kitchen and bathroom then putting them back on the market to make a tidy profit.

Minder ran for 15 years, starring George Cole as Arthur and Dennis Waterman as his sidekick and minder, Terry. The script was beautifully written – dry, tight and unavoidably English.

Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 12.06.56 PM

You get the idea.

Which is why, every time we read something about Infigen, or its CEO, Miles George (the former head of Babcock and Brown Wind Partners) we get a strange sense of Arthur Daley deja vu.

Here’s a recent statement the company made to the Australian Stock Exchange. Note how packed full of detail it is, and how satisfied you feel after reading it.

Response-to-media-report-4-March-2013-b56cfbf8-cb13-4527-bc32-3a700803b984-0-2 copy-page-001

But wait! There’s more.

Miles George recently provided an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

In short, Infigen is in deep financial trouble and wants to flog off its wind farms.

It owes $1 billion – and nearly every cent it makes from turbines (mainly through RECs, according to our calculation) goes to servicing its debt.

We are not, of course, suggesting any Arthur Daley-type dodginess by anybody at Infigen. Of course not.

But certainly the size of the company’s owings would have made even old Arthur just a tad nervous.

But here’s the bit that really made us chuckle.

“Mr George said the improved business climate in Australia for renewable energy, with the near-certain retention of the 2020 renewable energy target, offered Infigen the opportunity to consider asset divestments to cut debt and lift the appeal of the stock for institutional investors.”

Note the Arthur-type use of language. “Improved business climate.” Of course, my son. “Asset divestment”. At that price, it’s a steal.

And the near-certain retention of the 2020 renewable energy target? See our earlier post re this likelihood.

In our opinion, only a modern entrepreneur constantly gazing into the “crystal ball of opportunity” could make such a prediction.

As Arthur said once: “You make contact with your customer. Understand their needs. And then flog them something they could well do without.”

In the meantime, here’s three minutes of the real Arthur. Substitute “wind turbine” in your mind for the car – and you’ll get the idea.

In our next post, if George is Arthur, then who is Terry?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. It’s about time Infigen gets outa town. You’re not welcome and your dirty tactics will never beat people power. There is nowhere to hide.

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    It’s all smoke and mirrors, it’s about time the Government took matters in hand and stopped this theft of our money. The thing is who is the thief, the companies or the Government who take our money and giving it to those who are not producing any benefits to the people of this country. It would be better spent giving it back to us – we are better managers than they are, we are not so prone to the actions of con men.

  3. Windshift says:

    We all thought Infigen were deep pocketing the objectors to the Infigen’s proposed Cherrytree Wind Project by appealing to VCAT to overturn the local council’s decision not to grant a permit. Looks like Infigen may run out of Renewable Energy Certificates before the objectors quit.. Couldn’t happen to a nicer developer. Cost to Infigen? Maybe $25,000 per week for and five weeks plus preparation and experts, maybe another $150,000

  4. must be running out of ‘Tax Equity’

Trackbacks

  1. […] of sport with the infinite-Infigen stream of material popped up by whipping boys and girls like Miles George and Jonathon Upson – and Laura […]

  2. […] STT wonders why any politician with even half a brain would want to be seen running around with an outfit packed with lunatics and people who find the truth an alien concept – and with a corporate […]

  3. […] Don’t forget to ask that the guarantee be backed up by valuable security (eg, a mortgage over real property owned by a director of the company). Remember that the corporate vehicles wind farm developers use to operate wind farms are usually completely devoid of any assets.  If you think we are joking, here are 3 serious words: “Babcock and Brown” – now reduced to 1: “Infigen“. […]

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