The Evil Diaries: The Others Won’t Even Get a Look In

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Evil discusses Phosphorus Holdco PIK Toggle bonds and the Cheltenham races…

As some readers may recall I purchased Phosphorus Holdco PIK Toggle bonds at 3.8p or 3.8% of face value. And, being proactive, I set out to enquire as to who are my fellow claimants in respect of the theory that BC Partners unreasonably scooped £205m from this company. This is not easy. There is no publicly available register of bondholders and PwC the administrators have not so far released a copy. Apparently, the holdings and identities of holders are known only to the paying agent.

When I asked some fellow on the PR side of PwC to assist he posited that the Data Protection Act could inhibit the release of information. This may be so but, having exchanged a few observations with fellow citizens, it is clear that this Act is regularly put up as a barrier to enquiry. For instance, when a few years back I asked Peel Hunt what had happened to my £350,000, they cited the Data Protection Act. Oh Yes, I know about this Act.

However, life moves on. An action against BC Partners might cost as much as £2m to fund – or vastly more than I personally could possibly justify. So any action has to be collectively assembled. And that is true even when contemplated by the largest holder.

Please note that I can’t advise who this character or corporation is since I cannot get a copy of the register.

Incidentally, a lawyer I know who has taken the trouble to look through the papers so far generated by this complex matter remarks that a judge will decide that either the entire £205m dividend has to be refunded or no refund at all falls to be made. I find this hard to believe but mention it in passing. Funnily enough, although the binary nature of this decision doesn’t half polarise matters, I think it can be fairly regarded as a rather positive support for the bull case: after all although BC Partners made clear in the bond prospectus that the £205m raised would be used to pay a dividend (and indeed it was paid a few days after the fund raising) there remained an obligation upon the directors of Holdco to see that a dividend could be paid. I posit that it was not reasonable to pay since although the directors of Holdco filed a solvency declaration after the payment of the dividend Holdco was undoubtedly completely bust in well under a year. Action Stations.

As before, if you fancy this gamble, get your broker to approach Guy Butler Limited. What you cannot do is identify a holder from the register….


Beltin’ ‘em at Cheltenham: the first leg towards retirement is to back Sire De Grugy at around 100/30 to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday 11th March). And, for purists with a spare £10,000 or so, how about backing Willie Mullins to be champion trainer on the meeting? He has no less than fifty runners, all of which he fancies. The others won’t even get a look in.


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