Welcome!

News Feed Item

Jeff Ciachurski, CEO of Western Wind Energy, responds to Tom Konrad's letter

TSX.V Symbol: "WND"

OTCQX Symbol: "WNDEF"

Issued and Outstanding: 70,656,722

VANCOUVER, Feb. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Jeff Ciachurski wishes to personally respond to Tom Konrad's promotional news article dated February 13, 2013.

There was a series of phone calls between Jeff Ciachurski, CEO of Western Wind Energy and Tom Konrad, a contributing writer to Forbes.  After this discussion, Mr. Konrad produced an article titled "Why I'm Accepting Brookfield Offer for $2.60 per Share for Western Wind."  In this Article, Mr. Konrad makes a series of naked assertions.  To set the record straight, Mr. Ciachurski is responding to each of Mr. Konrad's subject paragraphs.  We are hopeful that Mr. Konrad will reproduce, verbatim, this rebuttal from Jeff Ciachurski.

Mr. Konrad's first paragraph is entitled "What Changed My Mind" and in this paragraph Mr. Konrad talks about speaking to fund managers and Brookfield's head of media relations.

Jeff Ciachurski responds by saying that Brookfield's Head of Media Relations can only disclose the party line of BrookfieldBrookfield's CEO or CFO had refused to speak with Tom Konrad.  Regarding the hedge fund managers who spoke with Tom Konrad, most are "event driven" fund managers who solely purchased stock when the Company was put up for sale or when they were aware that a sales process was imminent.  Together, these event driven funds constitute approximately 13 million shares or the vast majority of the parties who have tendered.  In fact, it was these funds that contacted Brookfield and agreed to tender if the bid was raised to $2.60.  These funds became so over-weighted with our stock in a situation where they had a limited timeline, that there was no other alternative but to tender.

Mr. Konrad's second paragraph is entitled "The Situation As I Now See It."  In this paragraph, Mr. Konrad gives an opinion as to what buyers will pay; states our lack of intention to sell; declares no value to Yabucoa; states Western Wind's share price will decline significantly if the bid expires; states allegations of alienating possible buyers; and Mr. Konrad's view that he can sway the public to whether or not Brookfield wins the vote.

"What Buyers Will Pay - Why Not More Than $3"

Mr. Ciachurski replies that Mr. Konrad is unaware that hostile bids for independent power producers are virtually non-existent.  The best-suited and most efficient purchasers for Western Wind are US regulated utilities and their non-regulated subsidiaries.  Mr. Konrad fails to understand that executive committees within these utilities will not bid on a company, simply for a break-up fee and incur the public disdain within their regulated jurisdiction, of getting into a hostile bidding war against an insider such as Brookfield, who holds a below market price share position.  Brookfield knows this and the only hope of Western Wind shareholders getting a better price is by Brookfield not obtaining the minimum tender and publicly saying it is walking away.  As Mr. Ciachurski has stated to Mr. Konrad several times, this is a battle between Brookfield and the Western Wind shareholders and not between Brookfield and Jeff Ciachurski.  Mr. Ciachurski's job is to give guidance and if Mr. Konrad feels that his investment advice has overreaching logic and conclusions, this is another feather in the cap for Brookfield.

"Lack of Intention to Sell - Ciachurski's Compensation"

In this paragraph, Mr. Konrad wrongly states that there will be two change of control payments.  There is only one and that was paid just before the Company's AGM as a precaution that either Savitr or Brookfield, if successful, in either the proxy battle or subsequent hostile bid, would not honor any of the employees' pre-established change of control payments.  It is standard in a hostile environment, whether by proxy battle or hostile bid, that the non-incumbent winning party, not honor any employment agreement.  This leads to years of litigation and in the case of the proxy battle, would have led to a diminished sales price.  Mr. Konrad further fails to state that Jeff Ciachurski is one of the largest shareholders and stands to benefit the greatest from any increase in value.

"Declares No Value to Yabucoa - Financing Yabucoa"

Jeff says Mr. Konrad turns on its head, the entire basic principles of project finance.  The most efficient cost of capital is bank debt.  Currently, project financed debt is available at LIBOR +2.75 therefore, the more bank debt on any project, the more superior returns to the project sponsor.  The more equity in a project, the lower the rate of return.  Equity rates of return are much higher than bank debt therefore, companies that have to sell copious amounts of corporate equity to meet a project equity requirement, are lowering the project's total yield.  No bank with an "A" rating or better, can simply increase the interest rate to meet a perceived serious risk of default.

Similar to Windstar and Kingman, the rates we received, were the lowest rates available, at that particular time, to any party.  In the case of Windstar, where we had an institutional lending group (life insurance companies), rather than banks, the interest rate is higher because it is fixed for 21 years and does not have any interest rate hedging costs, which, at the end of the day, becomes a more stable and predictable expense, yet at a total costs similar to the bank debt with swaps. In fact our audited financial statements show we have raised only $70 Million in total corporate book equity since incorporation. However we control $430 Million in assets and have a hostile bidder valuing that total corporate equity at $190 Million. This is a superior conclusion unmatched by the Yieldco's quoted by Mr. Konrad who do not trade more than their book share equity value.

"The Stock Will Fall"

Jeff says the statement by Mr. Konrad that the stock price will fall is contrary to his earlier paragraph where he states that the Company is worth more than $2.60 per share.  However, Mr. Konrad does not clarify whether he is a "value investor" or a "stock trader."  He is certainly not a pure clean energy investor.  This is verified within Mr. Konrad's February 13th article where he states "Brookfield and Algonquin are the largest pure play renewable companies in North America."  Mr. Konrad claims to own shares of both.  According to Algonquin's financial statements and website, Algonquin is a significant fossil fuel generator and utility distributor of fossil fuels. This makes Mr. Konrad not a "pure" clean energy investor therefore; his recommendation of the stock dropping can only be that of a view from a short-term stock trader.  We cannot predict what the price of Western Wind will do in the short term but we do know that Mr. Konrad believes the shares are worth more than $2.60.

"Alienating Buyers"

Jeff says Western Wind has been public since December 23, 1999 and until July 30th, 2012, has never agreed to put itself up for sale.  There is simply no history or record of alienating buyers.  Algonquin issued a hostile "bear hug letter" in October of 2011 and Savitr launched a proxy battle on July 31st, 2012.  On November 23, 2012, Brookfield stated its intentions of launching a hostile bid.  For the past 16 months, Western Wind has been under hostile attempt from two parties, with the Brookfield hostile bid being proxy war 2.0.  We would like to invite Mr. Konrad to offer the public his version of "How Not to Alienate Hostile Bidders."

"Our Decision Makes a Difference"

Jeff says Mr. Konrad takes pride in the fact that his newsletter may be able to sway shareholders to tender to the Brookfield bid.  He does that by saying he would rather take $2.60 now than waiting 3-4 months for an extra 5% - 8%.  None of these arguments are supported by fact, simply Mr. Konrad's desire to cash-out on a share position unknown to the public.  The public is also unaware as to when Mr. Konrad buys or sells shares, in relationship to his "Buy and Sell" opinion letters.  Such is the field in the unregulated game of newsletter writers. 

At the end Mr. Konrad fails to state that under Jeff Ciachurski's leadership, Western Wind helped create hundreds of high paying true green energy jobs. Western Wind paid tens of millions in sales taxes, millions in taxes to the Countries in which it does business and millions per year in additional land taxes for its assets. Western Wind was a 35-cent IPO in December 1999 and even at only $2.60, is the green energy market leader with a Combined Annual Growth Rate on share value of 20% per year, each and every year since 2000. Asset growth is a staggering 60% annually since 2000.  Virtually every other green energy company has failed to meet these exceptional targets or simply failed completely.

JEFFREY CIACHURSKI
Shareholder of Western Wind Energy Corp.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain statements contained in this news release may constitute forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation.  These statements relate to future events and are prospective in nature.  All statements other than statements of historical fact may constitute forward-looking statements or contain forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "seek", "anticipate", "should", "believe" or variations thereof.  Forward-looking information may relate to management's future outlook and anticipated events or results and may include statements or information regarding the future plans or prospects of the Company.

Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the outcome of a hearing before the OSC, if such hearing occurs, the results of a valuation, if obtained by Brookfield , and the availability of a financially superior offer,.  Several factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: the outcome of a hearing before the OSC, if such hearing occurs, the results of a valuation, if obtained by Brookfield, may not be as anticipated by the Company, actions taken by Brookfield, actions taken by the Western Wind Shareholders in relation to the Offer, the possible effect of the Offer on the Company's business, the outcome of the Company's previously-announced sale process, and the availability of value-maximizing alternatives relative to the Offer.  Additional risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company's MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2011 and the Company's other continuous disclosure filings which are available at www.sedar.com.

Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated.  Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements including, without limitation: the risk that the outcome of a hearing before the OSC will not be in the Company's favor, the results of the valuation, if obtained by Brookfield, will not be as anticipated by the Company, the progress of Western Wind's sales process, and, assuming the Company receives an expression of interest from a prospective purchaser, whether a financially superior offer for Western Wind emerges, whether the Company is able to successfully negotiate a prospective sales transaction and whether the conditions of any proposed transaction, including receipt by the Company of all necessary approvals, are met.

The Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that they will prove to be correct.  Actual results and future events may differ materially from those anticipated and accordingly forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon.  Forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as of the date of this news release.  Except as required by applicable law, Western Wind disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

SOURCE Western Wind Energy

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...