Commenters on the Severn Barrage thread have been doing some very interesting work on Lord Deben's financial interests. Although the great man has apparently indicated that he will take unspecified steps to ensure that his financial interests do not impinge upon his work as chairman of the Climate Change Committee, the sheer scale of those interests starts to look, well, extraordinary.
First off, Terry S noted the various shareholdings of Corlan Hafren, the company that is to build the Severn Barrage.
Shareholdings of Corlan Hafren:
There are 8704 shares comprising of 8700 non-voting shares and 4 voting shares.
3400 + 1 John Richard Forbes Bazley
2200 + 1 Halcrow Group Limited
1100 + 1 Sancroft International Limited
2000 + 1 Joseph Hannah & Nicholas MacMillan
I've no idea who they are but it appears that Lord Deben doesn't have any shares.
Fortunately, it was quickly spotted that Sancroft International is a company owned by Lord Deben and his family. SimonCM replied:
The old pea and thimble trick .... The erstwhile Lord is a director, and 1/6th shareholder of Sancroft International Limited. The other shareholders are all Gummers (i.e. Lord Deben's family including wife, son and three not easily identifiable through Google).
Therefore, by my maths, Lord Deben owns 2% of Corlan Hafren and the Gummers as a collective own about 12%. Not bad when you're proposing a £30bn project!
(Note that I haven't checked the figures above). Let's say, conservatively, that if it gets the go-ahead, this £30bn construction project is worth £32bn. With a £2bn profit, as 12% stake would be worth £240m. Of course, without the go-ahead it's worth nothing.
Decisions, decisions for the Selwyn-Gummer family.
Another interesting observation from Leo Hickman
also interesting that Letwin met with Sancroft last year... http://whoslobbying.com/uk/sancroft_international_limited … and Letwin is now reporting on barrage to PM
Deben's response per Leo H:
"All taken back by the company. No ongoing connection with Sancroft or me"
I wonder what "taken back" means. They did a share buyback or something?
More from Leo:
Deben sponsored EDM in '07 calling for Severn Barrage, which was signed by Davey, Huhne (+ Stringer :-) ) http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/1476 …