Response from Thorn Medical: “We request that you immediately remove any mention of us from the article on your website”

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Opus CapitalLast week, REDD-Monitor wrote a post about Opus Capital, a company previously known as Carbon Neutral Investments. The company’s director, Paul Seakens, has featured several times on REDD-Monitor.

Carbon Neutral Investments sold carbon offsets to companies to make them “carbon neutral”. The company also provided “clearing and settlement services” for a long list of boiler room companies that were selling carbon credits to retail investors. At the top of the list is Advanced Global Trading – a Dubai-based company that sold carbon credits as investments. In April 2013, Carbon Neutral Investments split into three companies: CNI (UK) Ltd, Gemmax Solutions, and Opus Capital.

Last week’s post about Seakens’ company was a bit of a shaggy dog story. Most of which has nothing to do with a healthcare company called Thorn Medical. Here’s a summary of the post:

  • The story starts with a recovery room that is cloning Opus Capital. This is almost certainly linked to a recovery room operation calling itself “Blackrock Commodities”, which is cloning BlackRock Inc. Nothing to do with Thorn Medical. Or BlackRock Inc, for that matter.
  • From there, we had a look at one of the services that Opus Capital offered – assisting small companies to list on GXG Markets Exchange. And the fact that FT Alphaville calls GXG, “first and foremost a gift for scamsters”. Nothing to do with Thorn Medical.
  • Then we took a small detour to ask why the Financial Conduct Authority allowed Carbon Neutral Investments (and subsequently Opus Capital) to remain on its register, despite the fact that the FCA had issued a warning against Carbon Neutral Investments back in March 2013. Nothing whatsoever to do with Thorn Medical.
  • Another detour asked about links between Opus Capital and Advanced Global Trading, a Dubai-based company that sold carbon credits as investments. Still nothing to do with Thorn Medical.
  • And finally, REDD-Monitor had a few questions for Thorn Medical, a healthcare company, that is planning a £350 million stock market listing this year. In December 2014, Thorn Medical appointed Opus Capital as its Corporate Adviser. “How did Thorn Medical come to appoint Opus Capital and what due diligence did the company carry out before appointing Opus Capital?” was one of REDD-Monitor’s questions. I sent the questions to Thorn Medical and asked for an on the record response.

Yesterday, REDD-Monitor received an email from Henry Gewanter, Managing Director at Positive Profile Limited. Gewanter explains that he is “the person responsible for Thorn Medical’s corporate communications”.

“Opus Capital is no longer acting as our advisor”, Gewanter writes.

And Thorn Medical has now updated its list of “Service Providers” on its website:

Thorn Medical

Last week, Thorn Medical’s list of Service Providers included Opus Capital (see this archived version of the website.) Opus Capital has now disappeared, as you can see from the screenshot. I have therefore edited the headline of last week’s post. The headline now uses the past tense to reflect the fact that Paul Seakens and Opus Capital are no longer advising Thorn Medical.

Gewanter doesn’t explain why Thorn Medical hired Opus Capital (other than it is an FCA regulated company). He doesn’t explain what due diligence Thorn Medical carried out before hiring Opus Capital. Or whether Thorn Medical was aware of Opus Capital’s, Carbon Neutral Investments’, and Paul Seakens’ past records.

Instead of answering the questions, Gewanter points out that “Thorn Medical has no connection with cloning Opus Capital’s website, recovery room scams, nor selling carbon credits”. No shit, Sherlock. REDD-Monitor’s post does not suggest any connection.

Then Gewanter makes something of a leap: “your mention of us in connection with these matters is misleading, defamatory and detrimental to our business so we therefore request that you immediately remove any mention of us from the article on your website”. This makes no sense. Like it or not, Thorn Medical hired Opus Capital. REDD-Monitor’s questions about how this happened remain relevant, whether or not Opus Capital is currently acting as Thorn Medical’s adviser.

Here is Positive Profile’s response in full and unedited, followed by REDD-Monitor’s (largely unanswered) questions:

From: Henry Gewanter
Date: 29 March 2016 at 14:08
Subject: Re: Thorn Medical and Opus Capital
To: reddmonitor@gmail.com
 
Dear Chris,
 
Thank you for your email of 24 March 2016 (below) which has been passed on to me as the person responsible for Thorn Medical’s corporate communications.
 
Thorn Medical is in the process of applying to have its shares listed on the Standard List segment of the London Stock Exchange. While it is not a requirement for a company to have an FCA regulated corporate finance advisor, the UKLA prefers to engage with one, so Opus Capital was originally appointed to liaise with the UKLA on the submission of our prospectus.
 
It is regrettable that you did not ask us for comments on your article before publishing it, as Opus Capital is no longer acting as our advisor.
 
Furthermore, as Thorn Medical has no connection with cloning Opus Capital’s website, recovery room scams, nor selling carbon credits, your mention of us in connection with these matters is misleading, defamatory and detrimental to our business, so we therefore request that you immediately remove any mention of us from the article on your website and would be grateful for your confirmation of same at your earliest convenience.
 
Kind regards,
Henry
 
Henry L Gewanter
Managing Director
Positive Profile Limited
 
From: Chris Lang
Date: 24 March 2016 at 14:48:26 GMT
To: info@thornmedical.com
Subject: Thorn Medical and Opus Capital
 
Dear Sir or Madam,
 
My name is Chris Lang and I run a website called REDD-Monitor (www.redd-monitor.org).
 
I note from your website (http://ow.ly/ZTrpo) that Opus Capital is acting as Corporate Adviser to Thorn Medical. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions about Opus Capital’s role:
 
1. How did Thorn Medical come to appoint Opus Capital and what due diligence did your company carry out before appointing Opus Capital in October 2014?
 
2. Are you aware of that Opus Capital’s director Paul Seakens has been involved with several companies selling carbon credits to retail investors (http://ow.ly/ZTrgD)? Or that last month, 19 of these companies were closed down in the public interest in the High Court (http://ow.ly/ZTr9S)? And that there are petitions to wind up 10 more – including Opus Capital?
 
3. Please explain what services Opus Capital has provided for Thorn Medical?
 
4. In the press release about Opus Capital’s appointment, Dr Bashir, Thorn Medical’s CEO said “We are delighted to appoint Opus Capital to assist us in our plans to list on the London Stoc” [sic – the press release just stops at that point]. (http://ow.ly/ZTsJe)
In October 2015, Thorn Medical signed a memorandum of understanding with EY. The press release about this states: “the professional services firm [EY] will support Thorn Medical’s IPO on the London Stock Exchange and its planned USA Nasdaq listing”. (http://ow.ly/ZTtcT)
Which sounds as though EY has taken over from Opus Capital. Does Opus Capital still have a role with Thorn Medical, and if so, what does that role involve? Why was it necessary to appoint EY to do the job that Opus Capital was supposedly already carrying out?
 
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Please consider your response to be on the record.
 
Regards, Chris Lang

 

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