His companies have struck a deal for £138m of taxpayers’ money. Where did he go ? — The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (en-GB)


In May, one of Kavanagh’s companies, Perpetual Power Holdings, finally released its 2020 accounts which had been due since September 2021, revealing previously undisclosed details of its company’s agreements with Thurrock council: the defects of payment, the missing interest payment and the total debt of £655 million. The accounts also show that if the council asks for the early repayment of this sum, the group will probably be unable to meet its debts – the sites would have to be sold for the council to recover most of its money.

While Kavanagh remains, via Anyard Holdings, the ultimate beneficial owner of the group and the solar farms, he has resigned from all his directorships other than Rockfire Capital, which is being liquidated, and is no longer directly involved in the day. – business today.

The sole director of the new structure, including the companies attached to each of the 53 solar farms, was Ian Walsh, the former chief financial officer of Rockfire Capital. As the sole director of Toucan Energy Holdings 1, he was the company officer responsible for ensuring that the board is repaid when the bonds mature.

On July 1, three days after the Bureau sent him detailed questions about TEH1’s finances — including whether the company is solvent — Walsh resigned as a director of TEH1. He has not yet answered our questions.

In a statement, a spokesperson for TEH1 said the company had “strengthened its management team and hired external advisors to quickly assess the business of the group and identify the best way forward for the benefit of all its stakeholders. “.

“The beautiful thing is that it’s someone else’s money”

The Bureau’s investigation began in 2019 when we spotted in a government spreadsheet that Thurrock had borrowed more than £1bn from other local authorities, which is £450m more than the next council from the list. A little more research revealed an investment policy that included long-term interests totaling £815m in the renewables sector. We now know that 80% of that total was tied to Kavanagh businesses.

In an interview at the time, Clark described a bizarre arrangement, involving dozens, if not hundreds, of short-term loans, many as short as a month, with the effect that the board was in a perpetual state of loan from a local authority. to pay off another. Aggregating data in obscure spreadsheets revealed that Thurrock had borrowed from at least 150 other tips. When contacted, some of the larger lenders said they hadn’t even asked what the loans were for, as the arrangement meant they got their money back, with interest, after a short period. It was in fact a seemingly limitless source of public money to which Kavanagh businesses had indirect access.

After the Bureau’s first story, some Thurrock advisers encouraged Clark to borrow and spend even more, with one saying at a town hall meeting, “The beautiful thing about this plan, c it’s someone else’s money. Another said elected members were not expected to question decisions made by council officers.


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