Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, a global animal rights group whose sole aim is
to close down animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS),
has today announced it will target all companies linked to Fortress Investment
Group LLC, in particular those who are considering assisting Fortress with
their upcoming re-financing.
news comes after the revelation that Fortress are seeking $440million in
a pair of loans to re-finance the company due to increasing debt. Fortress
have been deemed a top priority target by SHAC after it became known that
they had secretly loaned $70million to HLS in 2006 after Stephens Inc. pulled
out, which as a result kept the 7 times exposed animal testing facility
open throughout severe financial difficulties during the past few years,
helping to fund the continuation of the torture and deaths of over 600,000
$70million loan provided by Fortress remains essential for HLS to continue;
without it, they would have been crippled by staggering debt and forced
to liquidate years ago. As a result, SHAC intend to step up their campaign
against Fortress, and will start to pressure them from all angles possible
– including targeting the companies who are helping Fortress with
their re-financing efforts.
source indicates that Barclays, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup
Inc. are among the companies currently considering arranging loans to Fortress.
SHAC have already targeted some of these companies in the past; Barclays
were once a major HLS shareholder but sold all shares following relentless
pressure from the campaign. HLS were later de-listed from the NYSE after
a combination of failing to meet basic listing requirements and the forced
decision to buy themselves out and become a private company to avoid closure.
HLS' own financial report filed with the SEC disguised under the name 'Project
Atlantic' and the 'Plymouth Report', detailed the abysmal picture of HLS
and the enormous effect of the SHAC campaign on their daily operation as
are clearly in financial difficulties, which gives them even more reason
to retract their million dollar loan from Huntingdon Life Sciences,”
says Clare Thompson, a SHAC spokesperson. “Fortress are keeping this
vile laboratory up and running despite going against all business sense.
It is our mission to remove this financial support by targeting Fortress
by any legal avenue possible, even if it means disrupting their $440million
loan re-financing. Any company that helps
Fortress are likely to be a target for the campaign.”
have foolishly loaned a company which has no ability to operate as a regular
business; HLS have had to sell their own property and rent it back, they
face increasing staff cuts, and in 2009 had to buy out the company themselves
to stop it going under, at the cost of an additional $100million in debt.
Their own MD, Brian Cass has described their future as 'uncertain'. Of course,
when a company has been exposed seven times in just over a decade for repeated
animal cruelty, fraudulent experimental data and staff incompetence, it
comes as no surprise that they are not a sound investment for anybody with
Fortress are not retracting their loan facilities and demanding that Huntingdon
pay back the loan immediately and in full, they will stay as our number
one target. We will not hesitate to target Fortress and all associated companies,
particularly those providing Fortress with essential financial assistance.”
on top of Fortress Investment Group LLC once again electing not to pay shareholders
for a ninth quarter. With no dividend to shareholders for over two years,
you can expect shareholders to start asking some serious questions about
the financial capability of Fortress? Fortress last paid a dividend in July
2008. As of 30th June 2010, Fortress had $167.5 million in cash and $356
million in debt obligations.
it's time to get rid of some of your 'bad' loans like HLS and use that money
instead to clear your debts Fortress?
information, about SHAC, Fortress, HLS and the campaign to close HLS, please