By Tom Winnifrith | Saturday 19 May 2018
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
On 29 April Julie Meyer contacted those folks who have invested in her fund in an email she had tagged so she can trace any leakers. Sadly Ms lingerie on her devoutly Christian expenses cannot cope with Winnileaks so I publish the email in full. And it is a shocker. Quite simply Julie Meyer MBE is lying to fundholders in a brazen fashion.
You will see that she claims the ACE Fund is worth £7.8 million. If you add up the component parts of the "buckets" you actually get £7.6 million but what is £200,000 between friends?
But hang on she admits that £500,000 of that is in companies that are "written off or dead". Surely then that "bucket" should be valued at nil. It gets far worse.
You will see that £4.5 million is the value of Julie Meyer run Entrepreneur Country Global (ECG) which has no revenues and massive cash problems and is really worth SFA. But what is so shocking about this is that £3.75 million of that are the shares in ECG which the fund agreed to buy from Ariadne Capital Limited ( now in administration) in November 2016 allowing ACL to book a £3 million "profit" that year. But the only problem is that ACL has still not been paid a cent by Meyer's fund. i.e. It has an outstanding liability of £3.75 million not mentioned in this email.
Chuck in that liability and value the dead companies at nil and the value falls to just £3.35 million ( or £$3.55 million under Meyer Maths). But hang on is ECG ( no revenues huge liabilities, no cash) worth anything at all? I suspect not and accepting that would knock NAV down to £2.6 million ( £2.8 million Meyer Maths).
Then one looks at the £1.7 million valuation of eight companies "doing well" - termed "the winners" One of the eight is Taggstar which is actually in administration with the last director accusing Meyer of fraud, but let's not quibble.
If you read down you will see that Julie reckons the way for folks invested in the fund is for the punters to put up more cash:
"My recommendation is that the ACE Fund brings in more capital in order to back the winners. I will be shortly asking for the LP's position to raise another £2 m into the ACE fund so that we can allocate this £2 m into these potential winners"
Words fail me. When asking investors for money is it not against some ru7le or other not to be wholly misleading? I have forwarded this email to the administrator of Ariadne Capital Limited ( owed £3.75 million by the fund". It will also be going to ActionFraud and others...
Dear ACE Fund LP,
I am writing to you to provide you with the ACE Fund Accounts for 2017 as well as your Partnership Interest.
I am sharing with you our strategy for maximising the return on the ACE Fund as well as responding to the Fake News which is circulating.
This LP Report is private and confidential, and has been tagged such that if you share information in it, I can determine which LP has sent this information. I am sorry to have to take that step but these LP Reports have been misused by some of the LP's.
- Maximising the return on the ACE Fund
We have just under £7.8 m AUM. This today falls into 4 buckets:
- £4.5 m into a 100% ownership position in EntrepreneurCountry
- £1.7 m into 8 equity positions that are doing well but where we have small stakes, little influence, and no board seats
- £900 K into companies whose trading is average
- £500 K into companies which are written off or dead
As Board of Director meeting minutes reflect from 2014 - 2016, it has been the strategy of the ACE Fund since 2014 (4 years) to participate in the upside of what Ariadne creates. EntrepreneurCountry was an incubated venture that was acquired in 4 tranches by the ACE Fund, and represents the single biggest probable return for the ACE Fund today. Our goal is to take it public within 3 to 5 years. The value is in the community and the LTV (lifetime value) of each citizen.
We have the greatest ability to influence the outcome, and many successful entrepreneurs who have looked at everything that I do, have said, when looking at EC, stop and just focus on EC as this is a billion dollar business.
EC today is:
- Managing campaigns for leading FMCG companies
- Relaunching its TV Channel outside of Youtube with a media firm
- Working with major Enterprise Software firms
- Developing a Digital Identity-based Citizenship Application with the help of a development team based in Croatia
- The primary vehicle for taking Ecosystem Economics to market a Digital Playbook at the heart of the digital economy
The key priorities of EC in 2018 are:
- Finalise the EC Citizenship Application
- Relaunch ECTV as a media property that can be licensed throughout different regions
- Develop the David & Goliath sourcing proposition
- Launch licensable formats
- Develop the plans for the Ecosystem Economics Institute
- Secure next round of funding
We are speaking to a number of candidates for the CEO position at EntrepreneurCountry and expect to be able to announce him/ her before the next LP report. The team today consists of myself as acting CEO, a sales director, a marketing manager, and various senior advisors who do delivery work.
Ways that you can help:
- Most larger companies are looking for access to start-ups, and all leads help here. If you would like to see our marketing materials, please do send me an email. Your contacts and introductions are massively important to us.
- We are currently doing a Campaign to source FMCG/ Retail start-ups for a large firm which is interested in re-imagining its role in its ecosystem by buying or partnering with start-ups
The 8 Higher Performers
Autograph - https://www.autograph.me/ - based in Seattle, a strong retail-tech data business. Getting information in the short-term has been a challenge as the CEO Henry Lawson was close to Amit Pau, the former MD of Ariadne Capital, and is making this difficult
Beat.tv -https://be-at.tv/ based out in LA, and growing nicely
Made Television - https://www.madetelevision.tv/ - has been essentially taken over by David Montgomery; this is both good & bad news as our stake has diminished but the company's prospects are increasing.
Moneydashboard - https://www.moneydashboard.com/ will be an acquisition by one of the banks; their proposition is almost becoming a utility or de rigeur offering for any bank.
Quill - www.quillcontent.com/ There is a deal on the table from a major agency to acquire them
SoundOut - https://www.soundout.com/ - They are doing another round of financing, and the terms of this are available if you would like to see them.
Taggstar - https://www.taggstar.com/ - DMT / Gibraltar - we have sued them in Gibraltar for the non-registration of share capital; the company is doing well, but the Board of Directors is quite dishonest.
Teads - sold to Alstice - https://teads.tv/ we are working to get the cash from our stake; this is problematic as the Partner who was with Ariadne at this time dishonestly kept his shares and took the value of our equity stake; we are having to pursue him legally.
Most of these companies will make a return to the fund, but could make a much more significant return to the fund if we had a more sizable stake. We essentially funded the early stage, and these 8 have made it through the Darwinian start-up stakes to get to a position where they can grow rapidly. My recommendation is that the ACE Fund brings in more capital in order to back the winners. I will be shortly asking for the LP's position to raise another £2 m into the ACE fund so that we can allocate this £2 m into these potential winners:
EntrepreneurCountry will receive funding in the market from other investors, and we will take it public in a couple of years. As the fund owns 100% of the firm, the investment will reduce the fund's position.
The investment period is closed, so opening up the investment period will require a vote which I will come back to you with more information on later this month.
Feel free to send through your interest earlier.
- ACE Fund Accounts and Your Partnership Interest
Please find attached the ACE Fund Accounts to the end of December 2017 which are being audited at this time. 2016 have been audited, and no material changes were made to how we kept the books.
There have been some media reports which are inaccurate and defamatory. The Administration of Ariadne Capital Limited, the business which I incorporated in 2000, and which I am the Secured Creditor of, does not affect the ACE Fund. Everything that we have represented to the Auditors of the ACE Fund is properly documented, and everything that the Administrator of ACL has seen is also properly documented. There are parties who feel that they were mistreated, and I always feel bad when that happens. Neither I nor Ariadne have mistreated anyone.
Your Partnership Interest is £xxxxxxx.
If you have any questions about the financials, please contact Steve Piper on +44 xxxx xxx xxx or xxxxxxxx. He will be on holiday from the 7th to the 21st of May.
I am always contactable on +44 xxxx xxxx xxxx and on xxxxxxxxxx