The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Western Wind & Brookfield: Time To Declare Victory and Go Home

I recently tendered my shares of Western Wind Energy (TSX-V:WND, OTC:WNDEF) to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners' (TSX:BEP.UN, OTC: BRPFF) with an extended offer for Western Wind at C$2.60 a share. This is despite the fact that I think (and was even quoted in a Western Wind press release) Western Wind is worth more than C$2.60.

Two things have changed.  After conversations with other investors, Western Wind CEO Jeff Ciachurski, and a representative of Brookfield, as well as reading some evidence of extremely bad governance in Western Wind's Q3 2012 filing, I no longer think that Western Wind's management or board are committed to the sale process.  If there is another bidder willing to offer more than C$2.60 a share, I don't have confidence that the directors will present it to shareholders.  On September 20, Western Wind issued a press release, signed by all five directors, where they committed to the sale process.  They said, "The highest bid will not be denied and regardless of market conditions, the highest bid will be forwarded to the shareholders, for their approval."

C$2.60 is the highest bid, yet the directors are recommending we reject it.  It does not build confidence.

I went into a lot more details as to why I don't think we'll see a higher bid and why we should tender our shares in an article on Forbes yesterday.  Here are the basic points:

  1. While there may be potential bidders willing to pay over C$2.60 per share, none are willing to pay C$3 or more.
  2. Ciachurski and the board have already paid themselves the change of control bonus for selling the company, and no longer have that incentive to sell.
  3. Bringing the Yabucoa project to financial close will not add significant value for potential bidders.
  4. If the Brookfield’s offer expires unsuccessfully, WND will decline significantly in the short term.
  5. Ciachurski has a habit of alienating possible buyers.  This reduces the potential pool of bidders, and lowers the price that shareholders can expect for their stock.
  6. Brookfield is very close to succeeding; the readers of this article are likely to make the difference.

The title of this article comes from my conclusion:

It’s not as if I or most of my readers are selling at a loss.  Since I started writing about the company shortly before the Algonquin bid in 2011, Western Wind has traded mostly in the $1 to $2 range, so we’re all looking at gains between 25% and 100%.  It’s time to declare victory and go home.

You can read the details here.

You'll note that point 5 above was that Ciachurski has a habit of alienating possible buyers.  It's not just buyers he goes after... it's anyone who gets in his way.  Here's an email he sent me this morning, in response to the Forbes piece.

Hi Tom,

I read your news blast today.  I have no problem with your desire to do what you want with your stock I do find the reasoning to border on stupidity.
Do to your conclusions, I am certain your lack of knowledge is the reason you have a very few followers.  I should of done my DD on you first, but now I know why you have no followers.

I do not have the time to respond to anywhere near you babbling comments, but a few come to mind.

1)  AQN [Algonquin Power and Utilities (TSX:AQN, OTC:AQUNF)] and BEP are the largest pure play renewable energy players in NA.  reality check - AQN has a huge portfolio of fossil fuel generating assets, clearly making you a moron when it comes to research and knowledge.

2) I can take my money and invest in FVR.[Finavera Wind Energy (TSXV:FVR, OTC:FNVRF)] reality check - FVR has no production, has been rolled back 10 for 1 and is down 1000% in three years.  FVR has no production or decent revenues.  Looks like you need the public to bail out your position.

3) I am getting paid bonuses not to sell the company - Tom, I could sue you until you are in the poor house for this serious defamation and lies. You printed this now it is easy to sue you.

4) By having low dilution and therefore low equity into our projects our project loans are higher. -  You have exceeded the moron threshold by a factor of 500%.  Our project loans are the lowest in the industry. In fact triple AAA banks that we use could NEVER charge more interest. This would imply more risk which no A rated bank will take on.

5) I do not care what Brookfield did in Brazil, I just want their Canadian dollars - really - yet you published a defaming article about myself last year and now you lie about the WSJ article.  It said many people were indicted and Brookfield hire an armoured truck to carry the pay off bribes.

Anyhow, the 39% like you who have tendered have weakened the case for the 61% who want more dough.

I hope you are aware that I can use unlimited funds to sue you for your defamation. In addition to defamation you have displayed total stupidity in your investment recommendation to sell WND to buy FVR.

Tom, I look forward to seeing you in court and sanctioned by the regulators.

I'm not particularly concerned about the threats, since everything I said is backed up by published documentation.  I do have to wonder where the "unlimited funds" with which he is threatening to sue me for defamation are going to come from. 

According to several people I've talked to about Ciachurski over the two and a half years I've been covering Western Wind, such threatening letters (as well as text messages and midnight phone calls) are his standard MO when anyone crosses him.  (Here's a quick note to you, Jeff: If you want to annoy me, you'll have more luck with the midnight phone calls.  With phone calls, it will be annoying to transcribe them for publication.  With email, I can just cut and paste.)

Needless to say, I won't be investing in another Jeff Ciachurski-run company any time soon.

Disclosure: Long WNDEF, BRPFF, FNVRF, AQUNF.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice.  This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

This article was originally published on AltEnergy Stocks and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Wind turbine via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


offshore wind

Hitachi Plans to Add Production Line for Offshore Wind Parts

Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg Hitachi Ltd. plans to expand its reach into the market for offshore wind projects by adding a production line to make...
Renewable energy

Leading US ICT Companies Renewables Use at 14%, and Growing

Andrew Burger Electricity consumption in the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry is growing rapidly. An...
Wind farms

Western: Streamlined Environmental Review Process for Wind Farms in Midwest ‘Takes Effect Right Away’

Jennifer Delony Western in an Aug. 26 record of decision (ROD) adopted a standardized process for collecting information and evaluati...

NextEra Commits to Hawaii’s Clean Power Goal, Local Management

Lynn Doan, Bloomberg NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. made 50 new commitments as part of their proposal to merge ...


Array Technologies Finalizes Shipments to E.ON’s Maricopa West Solar Project

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has completed DuraTrack® HZ shipments to the 20 MW (ac) ...

B.C. Energy Minister to provide keynote at renewables for mines summit.

BC Minister of Energy and Mines to address the challenges of providing alternative powe...

Mining leaders seek renewables solutions at Toronto Summit

The global mining sector is facing a tough business environment with low commodity pric...

American Renewable Energy Institute Gears Up for 12th Annual Summit

"Racing Climate Change: Green Bridge with China, The Road to Paris” is the theme of th...


New Mexico Attracts Jobs and Revenues with Renewable Energy Tax Credit

New Mexico has abundant fossil fuel resources: in 2013, it ranked sixth in the nation for crude oil production, seven...

The Vice President Stole My Show (Not Really)

When I finished my Solar Power International (SPI) panel discussing what future opportunities the panelists saw in so...

The Value Of The Building

If you’re selling efficiency solutions in the built environment, you may find yourself being asked by your pros...

Sewage provides energy through processing

Many nations are investing in new technology to turn sewage waste into usable energy. Japan has recently revised its ...


Tom Konrad is a private money manager and freelance writer focused on Peak Oil and Climate Change as investment themes. He manages portfolios for individual clients and is Head of Research for the JPS Green Economy Fund (http://jpsgreeneconomyfund...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...


Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now