The shadowy, bizarre company that bought Tinkler’s stud
Four weeks after the announcement that Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm horse stud had been sold, the sale has still not been completed and doubts are growing about the deal and the company behind it, United Arab Emirates-based private investment group Cibola Capital, with some wondering if Cibola is all that it seems.
Although Tinkler’s statement quoted “Cibola chief executive Daniel Kenny” and the company’s website, launched in August 2013, lists him as “president/chief executive”, some are even questioning whether he actually exists. The website claims he’s the grandson of another Daniel Kenny, founder of the “DP Kenny Construction” company in 1927, which went on “to be one of the leading construction companies in Sydney at the time”. Yet searching the digitised newspapers on Trove turns up no reference to the company, no tenders, no company or job advertisements, nor is the company listed among either the Sydney or Country Builders in the Sands Directory 1930 to 1933.
Beyond Tinkler’s statement, Cibola’s website, and another, www.csi-investments.com it’s hard to find any trace of either Kenny. Of Cibola’s “executive management” team, only “vice-president and director of mining” Michael Dewick can be cross-referenced. Dewick’s LinkedIn page lists him as “managing director at CSI Investments”, UAE. But ASIC lists him as director of Perth-based Commercial Services International Investments, whose registered office is shared with the “Exclusive Backpackers” hostel at 158 Adelaide Terrace. Crikey attempted to contact the backpackers’ hostel, with no success. And what is CSI? Cibola’s website says, “Through over 80 years the company has gone through name changes and diversification”, and “CSI Investments” appears to be the company’s immediately preceding name — which the uncannily similar websites reflect.
Although both those websites claim “over 3,000 dedicated staff around the world”, neither bears close inspection, with multiple copyright and trademark infringements, mangled English, dubious claims, and one cracking typo — “Cibola Capital has been investing in the Mining and Expiration for over 40 years”. Among the 24 companies in which Cibola claims to invest are several household names like Apple and Facebook, but also included are the much less well-known RTG Motorsport, Falcon Sports and Emirates Tuna, whose legitimacy and existence is debatable, with no listings in Australian or UAE company registries. Both seem to have “borrowed” their logos from other companies. Text has also been lifted from the websites of other, legitimate investment companies. New York-based Cerberus Capital’s website has been hardest hit, with Cibola reproducing Cerberus’s “Control and Non-control Private Equity Investments”, “Investment Strategies” and “Corporate mid-market Lending” pages word for word. Cibola’s “Values”, which include “the highest ethical standards”, are also taken, word for word, from Advent International’s website.
Online directory www.zoominfo.com has an entry for CSI Investments, and Michael Dewick’s older brother Steven is listed as the chairman and chief operating officer. The company profile says it is “one of Australasia’s leading sports, recreation, leisure groups” and that “all the associated companies have expanded rapidly” — although the two mentioned, Aquatic Diversions and Leisure One Management, have both been deregistered with ASIC, Aquatic Diversions in 2007 and Leisure One Management in 2005. The address for Leisure One on the Central Coast was also home to the Tascott and Steven Dewick Swim Schools, both of which have also been removed from the ASIC registry.
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