It has been reported that early in 2022 the Council hired Camdor Global Advisors (“Camdor”) to value the entire solar farm portfolio (approximately 53 sites in the UK) managed by Toucan Energy Services. I believe the Council previously invested in a product promoted by Rockfire Capital relating to this portfolio of solar farms.
Please provide a copy of Camdor’s valuation report.
The Council can confirm that it holds this information. This information is exempt under section(s) 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is because as regards, Toucan Energy Holdings, the Council and Camdor Global Advisors prejudice to commercial interests ‘would be likely’ to arise from disclosure of Camdor’s valuation report:
Prejudice to the commercial interests of Toucan Energy Holdings:
Disclosure of the valuation reports would affect the company’s ability to run an independent process and realise value from the assets for its creditors. The company went to into administration in November 2022. Disclosure of the reports would undermine the ability of the administrators, to establish the value of the company’s full assets and to run an independent process and maximise the realisation of the company’s assets and property, and to get the best possible result for the creditors.
Prejudice to the commercial interests of Thurrock Council:
Disclosure of the valuation reports would significantly undermine the ability of the Council to get the best possible result through the realisation of the company’s assets.
Prejudice to the commercial interests of Camdor Global Advisers (CGA):
CGA are a specialist advisory firm providing financial and risk advice to local authorities. The reports provided set out detailed commercial and financial analysis of the investments and the company’s business. Disclosure of the full reports could allow competitors to gain substantial insight into the methodology and knowhow used by GCA, and would prejudice the company’s ability to obtain business in future.
The public interest test applied to engage section(s) 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for this request is shown below:
- Public interest in disclosure:
- Enabling the public to understand a public authority's financial decision-making and to participate in public debate.
- Ensuring that the public authority can be held accountable for its decisions and is providing value for money
- Ensuring that the public authority’s financial affairs and use of public money is open and transparent by providing insight into the nature of the council’s investments
- Public interest to maintain the exemption:
- Disclosure of CGA’s valuation reports would likely prejudice the position of the Council, Toucan and ultimately the Council tax payers of the Borough.
- The recovery process in some instance may involve the sale or disposal of some of assets. Disclosure of the content of the valuation report could lead to bids or offers being reduced or encourage bidders to treat them as distressed assets which will ultimately negatively affect the Council tax payers of the Borough
- Where parties are dealing with the disposal and seeking maximisation of asset values the information may impede their ability to secure the best returns for creditors /investors, therefore disclosure will impact on the Council and Toucan
- Disclosure of detailed actual or projected business/asset valuations may impact on ultimate sales value of assets.
Disclosure under FOI is disclosure to the world at large and not just a requestor and in dealing with any recovery if the content of CGA’s valuation report was available under FOI this would impact on Toucan’s ability run an independent process and realise value from the assets and get the best possible outcome for its creditors. This will ultimately negatively affect the Council taxpayers of the Borough.
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