Sunday Long Reads: Death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, Islamic State family, Monetising Nothing, Bad Electric Vehicles, Boat Accident
Another day and another statement from the loan sharks at Amigo (AMGO), folks who – as a judge pointed out the other day - are A grade bullshitters in the league of Julie Meyer. Yet again, Amigo threatens folks, quite unnecessarily, with the spectre of insolvency. The company’s market update today is just plain disingenuous.
Being a bear over the past year has, as I have noted many times before, been painful. You expose a company for being a fraud and its shares go up. You reveal that it has lied to investors and...its shares go up. You demonstrate that it is trading poorly and is running out of cash, its shares dip but then, post an oversubscribed placing, start to roof it again. It is unnatural. But it is the way of life in the last blow off stages of a bull market.
So much for the spike in Amigo (AMGO) shares yesterday in the belief that the Court would agree to its plans to pay customers it had ripped off only very partial compensation. The FCA opposed the scheme since it sees those ripped off getting only partial redress while equity holders keep the rest of the cash stolen by Amigo. And the Court, it emerged this morning, agrees with the FCA and myself and Justice Mills slates Amigo. As for foul mouthed bear raider Evil Knievil...
This all looks a bit of a mess. Loan shark Amigo (AMGO) needs Court approval for a scheme whereby customers it screwed get only partial compensation. Those customers have been bullied into voting for it by directors making the threat that if the plan is not accepted the. Amigo will put itself into administration meaning shareholders and screwed customers get nothing. The FCA has objected as the directors are lying, there is a fairer way.
Everyone knows that loan shark Amigo (AMGO) screwed tens of thousands of customers. Even the company admits to it. Shareholders benefited from that screw. Amigo wants to pay out just a portion of that screw in compensation, leaving shareholders taking no pain as they get to keep some of the ill-gotten gains. Quite rightly those folks at the FCA have taken a few minutes from wanking off on ESG porn to put a stop to this.
Shares in loan shark Amigo (AMGO) are down by 12% today to 12p on what appears to be, well what most certainly is, a regulatory setback. But one loyal shareholder, the infamous short seller Simon Cawkwell, aka Evil Knievil, is not deterred and tells me that the shares will still hit 20p and could even go to 30p. The setback first:
Let’s start with the good bad news from this provider of usurious loans to folks who cannot afford traditional credit and are too stupid to understand what getting a mate to guarantee such a loan really means. The good bad news is that, with the FCA breathing down its neck, all 25,571 complaints about mis-selling received by July 3 have now been dealt with by Amigo (AMGO).
On Amigo Holdings (AMGO) last week I wrote is new CEO going to like the regulator’s answers?. Today “Asset Voluntary Requirement with the FCA” announcement – and the shares currently at 9p, more than 10% lower...
An “open letter to shareholders” from recently-appointed CEO of guarantor loans company Amigo Holdings (AMGO), Gary Jennison, includes that he needs to ask the regulator “questions and listen to their answers”. But is he going to like those answers?...
Of course that is not what Benamor intends to do but it is what he achieves in a long diatribe posted on the internet in which he, naturally, paints himself as the hero of the tale.
Lucian Miers: I wrote recently that I thought that Amigo Holdings (AMGO) was a prime candidate for bankruptcy by the year end. While I still think this is the case, I have closed my short for now as I expect a lot of volatility as this wonderfully entertaining soap opera reaches a crucial stage later this month...
Chutzpah: extreme self-confidence or audacity, usually used approvingly.
Instinctively, I back an entrepreneur against corporate suits, a founder against professional managers, a rebel against the board. But in the case of Amigo (AMGO), I cannot back founder entrepreneur James Benamor as he tries to oust the board due to the fact that Benamor is an A grade bullshitter.
I’ve been following the whole saga surrounding sub-prime lender Amigo (AMGO) for some time now, as well as the whole of this sector in general.
I don't need to tell regular readers what I think about Amigo Holdings (AMGO). Two years ago here, I first wrote down the 'Amigo is no friend of mine' line at a share price for the guarantor loans lender a mere twenty times what you can buy them for in the market today. I could not understand the business rationale or ethics. I also do not need to tell you about the general tone of commentary on this website - primarily from Tom and myself - about Amigo in the two years since. It is a horrible business which should never have been allowed to list a handful of years ago. However, recent months have added further levels of controversy...
In days gone by, the City would have termed James Benamor “a wrong ‘un”. His antics over the last 96 hours in tweeting out plans for him to return to Amigo (AMGO) and at least one statement which is a slam dunk lie only confirm me in the impression that such an assessment would be valid.
When a boss with a good reputation joins a company with a bad one, it is always the latter that emerges intact. Jonathan Roe was unveiled today as the new chairman of Amigo (AMGO) and his CV looks good. It will not stay that way. Amigo also unveiled its results for the year to March 31 2020 and they are dire. But there is far worse to come and you would not bet much on this company even surviving.
I discussed this with reference to Amigo (AMGO), at length, a couple of weeks ago in my new video show. Today another warning from the company shows that it is past the stage of making windfall profits from screwing its customers in any orifice going, and is now suffering the blowback on that which will, in due course, wipe out shareholders completely.
Where did it all go wrong for Amigo Holdings (AMGO)? Regular readers will know I have been following this car crash for a good few years now and today's update is just another step in its demise. The sooner this one is de-listed the better...
You all know my long-held views on the oh-so-flawed guarantor lending business Amigo (AMGO). Back in early March I observed about the latest headline grabbing shenanigans that 'Don't you just love it when a company and its founder/largest shareholder fall out?'. Well that story has taken a further little twist at the end of last week.
Just when you think a story has little more to give...it takes a turn so ludicrous that you cannot quite believe it. Yes, forget soap operas, the financial markets have far more bonkers twists and turns. For well over a year now I have warned you to avoid like the plague Amigo (AMGO) and even - a few weeks ago - noted the shabby tactics of the company's founder here who has made a fortune whilst customers and silly fund managers who bought the stock upon listing have lost a packet.
I know it is Black Friday tomorrow but if you want some black humour then I point you towards an article in this morning's broadsheet press about the horribly expensive lending facilitation company Amigo (AMGO) which observed that 'Investors who bought at 275p in the flotation in July last year have lost 78 per cent of their money'. I can imagine the wealth of many people who have utilised the company’s services has been equivalently impacted...
It has already been established that I am not a do-gooder when I invest. My personal lifestyle is really quite boring but buying tobacco, alcoholic beverage, defence or gambling stocks - among other demerit areas - is really not an issue for me at all. Frankly, I would rather be this way around than some charlatan who sticks out the well-worn 'do as I say not as I do' line. However there are listed companies out there that I just take an immediate dislike to...and this brings me to Amigo Holdings (AMGO)...
Back in late August I wrote an article about Amigo (AMGO) following the IPO of the 'pioneer of the guarantor loan concept for the non-standard market'. Having concluded last time that 'Amigo is no friend of mine, neither as a user, an underlying lender or a potential share investor', how did yesterday's first half numbers look?
I know somebody who regularly trots out the line 'all that matters is how much money you make'. I am a big supporter of capitalism and laissez-faire thought but this is such a naive statement to make. Economists would talk about the need to factor in externalities and additionally I would cite that life is a trade-off problem...and a single minded pursuit of money, to the detriment of absolutely everything else, tends to bite you where it hurts at some point. Now before I convince myself that Jezza is the red saviour of our proud country...time to talk about Amigo (AMGO).
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