Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"please give them a chance"

Here comes Olive again grandstanding on "business" something she doesn't know the first thing about... she just wants to "call someone out" at the first sign of a perceived trouble, without the facts... if she could read a balance sheet and the public record it wouldn't take her long to figure out that Homburg REIT, now Canmarc Canada REIT, and owners of Dyne Holdings, the Government’s guarantor, are a sound financial public company with lots of equity and strong market support... she probably could have had this confirmed by any of the local Tory branded accountants but it's my understanding that she's alienated most of them through her persistent questioning of the PNP files, whom a lot of them acted for as agents...


She should have called the Auditor in when her Government built the meat plant in Borden, or when her Government built the Atlantic Tech Centre in Charlottetown, or when her Government purchased Dundarave, or when her Government gave out the crab loans, OH SORRY OLIVE... they were Tory initiatives which you seem to forget about!!!!    and the list goes on and on for "all" Governments trying to be business people...


Bottom line here is the hotel is built and open...  Olive... “please give them a chance before you try and drive their reputation into the ground”... the receiver has a public responsibility and their report will be a public record, which may or may not see some liability put back on the Province, but I doubt it...


The CP Hotel (now the Delta) got in major trouble back in the days, and guess what... it's still there operating, employing people, paying taxes and doing all the great things that private businesses do and maybe Olive will appreciate this when she looking for something to do on October 4, 2011... 

Auditor general should investigate provincial Homburg deals: Crane

Published on September 28, 2011
Teresa Wright
the Guardian

PC Leader Olive Crane says she wants the auditor general to investigate the government’s dealings with the Homburg group and its corporation entities.

She issued a statement Wednesday saying if elected, she will call on auditor general Colin Younker to review all involvement of the provincial government with the numerous Homburg companies in order to get answers on exactly what liability may exist for Island companies and taxpayers.

On Sept. 9, Homburg Invest and several affiliate companies applied for creditor protection in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Homburg Invest's Class A and Class B shares were also delisted by the Toronto Stock Exchange last week.

According to a list of the company’s creditors, Homburg Invest owes the P.E.I. government $13.2 million, and millions more to 29 other companies with addresses on P.E.I., as well as the provincial tax commissioner and the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I.

Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell has said the province is protected if a division of Homburg Invest Inc. defaults on its government loans.

But Crane doesn't believe the millions Homburg borrowed from Island taxpayers is as safe as Campbell says.

“We’re getting conflicting information from Allan Campbell about what the risk is to taxpayers,” Crane said in an interview.

“This company has been delisted by the Toronto Stock Exchange and yesterday we found out that one of his companies is now dropping the name ‘Homburg’ all together so there’s a number of red flags that should be brought to the attention of the auditor general.”

On Tuesday, Homburg Real Estate Investment Trust changed its name to Canmarc Canada Real Estate Investment Trust after receiving approval from its board of trustees.

Canmarc owns Dyne Holdings, which has three loan offers from the province worth $30 million.

The Homburg REIT was spun off from Homburg Invest.

Crane said the whole file needs an immediate forensic audit, not only because of the taxpayers' dollars tied up in the Homburg group, but also due to other P.E.I. companies that are also owed money.

"There are a number of Island businesses that are owed a considerable amount of money," Crane said.

"All in all, the file needs an audit."

Here's What I'm Thinking...

Someone told me in the past couple of days that Teresa Wright from The Guardian has been calling Robbie Vessey in District 9 and saying that “The Guardian thinks it’s going to be a close one in district 9” and they want to do a story about it, so he obliged… I presume Ms. Wright must have met with Martie in the barn and sniffed a few too many fumes as I’ve been told she’s hinted around that she’s getting a feeling it’s a “tight” race.. In fact Ms. Wright was boasting on her twitter that the story would be in print by Tuesday but my guess is the geniuses at the top of that Rag have finally got the CRA poll in their back pocket and she’s been put on a rewrite…


I can’t even imagine why The Guardian would even spend the gas money to head out to Stanhope (especially near the end of the campaign) when anyone with a pulse knew from the start that this one was “never close”


I don’t know what they’re smokin’ down at the Guardian but after reading the Editor’s column a few days ago on the PNP’s its obviously some very “crazy” stuff… it’s time the boys took some time off and got out in the fresh air and play some golf as this election is history, along with the PNP’s foolishness…


Here's what I'm thinking...  you pick any candidate against any Liberal candidate you want on PEI at even odds but you must also bet me Martie Murphy against Rob Vessey and I'll give you a bonus 3 to 1 odds on Vessey to win.... if I’m lucky enough to win, then I'll donate half my winning proceeds to the QEH... $100.00 minimum bets only and you can officially place them at my office at 3 Lower Malpeque Rd. up until this Friday... CRA will be out tomorrow with Liberals down but still in double digits so here's your chance to wack me...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Is "Fracking" Funny...

For some strange reason I got a copy of Martie's latest press release today and I couldn't help feel sorry for her as she's obviously "fracking" losing it if she thinks this silliness has any traction in Covehead or Brackley... Vessey could end up with the largest majority of victory on PEI if she continues the PNP and school closure debate as she "beating a dead horse" and you'd think she'd know a little about that...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2011

MARTIE MURPHY TAKES A STAND

PC Candidate for District 9, Martie Murphy attended the Liberal announcement for the day in her district at the North Shore Community Centre and expressed disappointment in the Liberal promises on the environment. “All the promises they made have already been announced and it means nothing for the Friends of the Covehead and Brackley Watershed Group, which is in my district.”

Murphy went on to indicate that she was extremely disappointed that the Liberals took no stand on fracking. “We have a fragile water system in this Province and unless we prohibit this practice outright as the Progressive Conservative Party will do there is no way that we can maintain the purity of our water.”

The unusual move by Murphy to attend the Liberal announcement was an effort by Murphy to make sure the Liberals knew that she was there to look after the interests of her district. “I wanted to look Robert Ghiz in the eye so that he knew that he was not going to get away with anything when he comes in to the York-Oyster Bed district.”

Murphy continues to campaign door to door in the district and indicated that she is getting a very positive reception. “People are angry with the arrogance of this government.”
- 30 -

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Martie Murphy, PC Candidate for York-Oyster Bed
(902) 629-5125

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Unite or Divide"... Well Said Premier Ghiz

Contrary to popular belief I don't really like kicking someone when they'll already down so I'm not going to say anything about “Olive's desperation” campaign...   But I will say that the Premier's approach in sticking with the positive will resonate much better with voters than Olive’s pitting rural Islanders against urban Islanders... 

If Olive has achieved anything with her negative campaign then I'd say her success has been in "firing-up" the workers in the Big Red Machine and I smell a huge "backfire" there Olive...

Liberals will rise above Tory slander: Ghiz

The Guardian
Published on September 16, 2011
Ryan Ross
MONTAGUE – The PC party will do anything to win the election, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

Ghiz was referring to reports of an investigation into the provincial nominee program and said the Conservatives will do or say anything to score political points.

“Well let me tell fellow Liberals and fellow Islanders that the Liberal party will rise above the Tory slander and make sure that we offer a better and more prosperous province for each and every one of us,” he said.

Hundreds of Liberal supporters gathered at Montague Regional High School Friday night for the party’s second rally of the 2011 election.

Each candidate marched in to the room with a small group of supporters leading the way and waving signs until the room was packed with people in every available space.

Ghiz was the last to make his entrance and had to wade through the crowd as he walked to the stage, shaking hands along the way.

During his speech, Ghiz said voters are going to send the PC party a message on election day that they’ve had enough of their negativity.

The partisan crowd drowned out the rest of what he was saying and one person yelled “bang on.”

They booed when Ghiz said he has never seen a more negative and divisive campaign.

“They want to drive a wedge between Islanders, to create an atmosphere where one Islander is pitted against another Islander,” he said.

Ghiz didn’t spend his whole speech attacking the Conservatives and turned his focus to the Liberal government as he listed some of the projects it undertook in Kings County, including a new manor in Souris and the school where the Liberals held their rally.

After listing some of the party’s recent campaign announcements, Ghiz turned his attention back to the Conservatives and said his party believes Islanders share common values.

He finished his speech by saying there is going to be a clear choice for voters on Oct. 3.

“The choice is gonna be do you want the Liberal party that unites or the Conservative party that divides?”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Business Falls Over The Cliff... but not news to CBC

I got quite a few out of province calls on my cell phone earlier today talking about the "Homburg" turn of events and the impacts it may have on our Charlottetown marketplace...  so when I arrived home this evening I thought I'd search The Guardian and our local CBC News web to catch up on this breaking story...  "Not A Thing" but I did learn that a Puppy was saved after he jumped off a cliff...

These egar Island reporters must be to busy following around all those important power wheedling politicians and little puppies... surely they'll pick up on this story with some local scoope or will they just take the lazy way out and "clip" it from the news wire?  My guess is the hell with the local ecomony and the scoial impacts of a business story as it's a nice drive to Borden and puppies don't bite back...

Homburg Invest Inc. to restructure under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act

Published: 2011-09-09

MONTREAL, September 9, 2011 - (TSX: HII.A & HII.B and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam: HII) - Homburg Invest Inc. ("HII" or the "Company") announced today that it and certain of its subsidiaries applied to the Court for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA").

Deloitte & Touche LLP is the proposed Court-appointed monitor that will oversee the proceeding under the CCAA (the "Monitor"). Deloitte & Touche will periodically post the applications to the Court as well as the orders issued by the Court on its website.

HII is hopeful that the appointment of the Monitor will address the primary concerns of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets ("AFM"). In addition to the duties and obligations of the Monitor as prescribed by law, HII has requested that the Monitor be afforded certain additional powers that will facilitate its ability to cooperate fully with the AFM, including the right of the Monitor to communicate directly with the AFM with regard to any matters concerning the HII group of companies.

"The purpose of the application is to allow us to restructure our activities in an orderly fashion in the best long-term interests of the Company and all of its stakeholders," said Hartmut Fromm, Chairman of the Board of HII. "The CCAA application enables the Board of Directors and Management to take measures to enhance the balance sheet of the Company."

The CCAA is a Canadian federal law allowing insolvent companies that owe their creditors in excess of $5 million to restructure their business and financial affairs. CCAA is not bankruptcy. The main purpose of the CCAA is to enable financially distressed companies to avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure or seizure of assets while maximizing returns for their creditors and preserving both jobs and the company's value as a functioning business. CCAA proceedings are carried out under the supervision of the Court.

Additional information, including how bondholders, creditors and shareholders in the Netherlands and in Canada can contact the Company, will be available shortly.

The Company's CCAA filing does not affect Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust, which is an independent entity and distinct from the Company and its subsidiaries.

About Homburg Invest

Homburg Invest Inc. owns and develops a diversified portfolio of quality commercial real estate including office, retail, industrial and development properties throughout Europe and the United States, as well as an interest in Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust.

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Free Kays" makes "Top Ten Most Endangered Places"

On September 1st the Heritage Canada Foundation designated the Kays Brothers property on Lower Queen Street in Charlottetown as one of the "Top Ten Most Endangered Places In Canada" and you can see their listing at http://t.co/TQqyFH9 


Hers's some background for the record....   at our very first meeting (held at Rory Beck’s office) with the Province to discuss our hotel concept it was clearly indicated to APM that both the Province and CADC were only in favour of a development on the Kays property if the development involved “the preservation of this heritage structure”. 


At that meeting it was agreed that if our scheme of preserving the fa├žade was acceptable to Heritage Board and the City, then it would be acceptable to all parties.  Furthermore, it was explained to us that CADC’s purchase of the Kays property was “predicated” on the fact that CADC could tap into sources like the Infrastructure Program to see that the heritage designation was preserved and that the Province had already earmarked $1,000,000 towards this. 


We also have InnovationPEI’s written development offer, which clearly states that “CADC’s intention is to see this building preserved and restored.”  The same "presevation story" was represented by CADC to the public at their development “open house” in early 2011.  This begs the question why did CADC consent to the demolition application recently present to the City????


This is an important stucture for Downtown Charlottetown and CADC should find a way to see the building preserved as "tearing down" and "delisting" the building is just going to become a "National" issue and a blight on Charlotteown's "historic" reputation...  It appears the Campaign "Free Kays" is starting to mobilize now and for good reason... 

Why it matters
from Heritage Canada Foundation's website

HCF’s 2011 Top Ten Most Endangered Places List


The Heritage Canada Foundation released its seventh annual Top Ten Most Endangered Places List on September 1, 2011.

The selection—presented here from the West to East Coast—was compiled from the results of HCF’s call for nominations as well as those stories and news items followed throughout the year.


Constructed in 1872 for prominent politicians, merchants and shipbuilders Lemuel Owen and William Welsh, the Italianate Commercial-style building on Queen Street (later known as the Kayes Bros. Building) played an important role in the commercial history of Charlottetown. The large, four-storey structure with decorative brickwork, round-arched windows and row of three storefronts with large plate glass, wooden piers, and signband, it is one of the most impressive along the historic streetscape.

Over the years it was home to prominent newspapers and important local retail and commercial activities, but it is best known for its wholesale grocery businesses (J.T. Peardon’s, R.E. Mutch and Company and later the Kays Brothers). It suffered three fires that have damaged the interior, but left the exterior walls intact.

In 1962, the Kays Brothers purchased the building where they ran their wholesale company until 2009. The opening of Confederation Bridge, which made it easier for customers to shop out of province, was cited as the primary reason for its closure. It was purchased by the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) that year for $750,000 and has been vacant ever since.

The building is included as a Designated Heritage Resource as per Appendix A in the City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw.

Why it’s endangered

A new owner, island businessman Danny Murphy, wants to develop a $15-million hotel on the site that would require the delisting and demolition of the historic building. His engineering report, that states the building is structurally unsound, contradicts a report by J.M. Griffin Engineering Inc. prepared a year ago for P.E.I. developer Tim Banks. Based on that report, Banks had planned a hotel redevelopment that would incorporate part of the historic building.

Where things stand

Tim Banks is encouraging CADC and the provincial government to provide funding to Murphy to help restore the building as part of a hotel, instead of demolishing it.

The municipal Heritage Board has recommended that City Council not approve the demolition at this point and uphold its designated status. Murphy withdrew his demolition application before the vote in council could take place. The final decision has been delayed until an independent engineer assesses the building’s structural integrity.

Murphy has not made any progress on his proposal since he withdrew it several weeks ago, but in a media interview made it clear he will be moving forward with the project.

In the meantime, questions have arisen about how a listed heritage property was allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it has.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mike Arnold Steps Down From Homburg...

This is a very interesting turn of events in the recent saga of the various Homburg enterprises and I'd suggest in the long term that the Company's continued investment in Charlottetown may slide a bit with Mr. Arnold now taking a smaller role in the business...  Richard and Mike had a lot of confidence in Charlottetown and PEI and let’s hope it continues under the new regime...

Homburg Invest provides update on recent developments
§  Published: 2011-09-01
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia. September 1, 2011 - (TSX: HII.A & HII.B and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam: HII) - Homburg Invest Inc. ("HII" or the "Company") announced today two resignations from its Board of Directors and the appointment of a new chairman of the Board.

Michael H. Arnold, C.A. has resigned as a director and as Chairman of the Board.  He will continue to provide special advisory services to the Board.  Dr. Trevor A. Carmichael has also resigned as a director.  Neither Mr. Arnold nor Dr. Carmichael will stand for re-election to the Board at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Mr. Hartmut Fromm, a director of HII, has been appointed by the Board to the position of Chairman.  Mr. Fromm is Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Buse Heberer Fromm in Berlin, Germany. He is also Chairman of the Board of IMW Immobilien SE.

As a result of the foregoing, the Board of Directors currently consists of four directors, of which three are independent.

Update on Recent Events

On August 26, 2011, Homburg Canada Inc. ("HCI"), a company controlled by Richard Homburg, issued a news release stating that it would not follow through on its announced intention to make an offer for all outstanding shares of HII not already owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by HCI.
HII wishes to make it clear that it never received a formal binding offer from HCI or Richard Homburg to purchase the shares not already owned by them in the Company.  As disclosed on July 25, 2011, the Board of Directors of HII has only rejected a non-binding proposal made by Richard Homburg to privatize HII (the "Proposal") because the Proposal was not in the best interest of HII and its stakeholders.
To the knowledge of the Board of Directors of HII, the financing required for the implementation of the Proposal was never committed. Furthermore, the Proposal involved the use of HII's most liquid asset, namely the units of Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust that it holds, as a means to finance the privatization, and if implemented would have seriously impaired HII's financial flexibility.

Relationship with Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM)

The Company strongly believes that it has acted in good faith to fulfill the requirements of the Instructions issued by the AFM previously disclosed on May 26, 2011, and continues to work diligently to resolve the impasse with the AFM and to avoid the loss of its licence as a financial institution in The Netherlands.
The AFM has granted a two-week extension to HII to allow the Company to submit reasons to the AFM as to why the Company's licence as a financial institution in The Netherlands should not be revoked.  HII reminds investors that the letter from the AFM conveys an intention to make a decision and is not definitive.

HII to Vigorously Contest Claim for Damages by HCI

On August 30, 2011, HII announced that it had received a claim for damages totalling approximately $27 million from HCI as compensation for the termination by HII of the master property and asset management agreement between the Company and HCI. 
HII maintains that it terminated the agreement as a result of breaches by HCI of its obligations under the agreement, and as such holds the position that no compensation is payable to HCI.  The Company rejects the claim for compensation and will vigorously contest it, should the matter come before the Courts.

Communications with Stakeholders in the Netherlands

Due to the increasing number of enquiries from shareholders and debt holders in the Netherlands, HII is in the process of setting up a Netherland's based communications channel.  Additional information will be announced shortly.

About Homburg Invest

Homburg Invest Inc. owns and develops a diversified portfolio of quality commercial real estate including office, retail, industrial and development properties throughout Europe and the United States, as well as an interest in Homburg Canada Real Estate Investment Trust. The head office of the Company is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.