In 2012 Mount Wellington cable car company claimed that the cable car was "fully funded" by three overseas companies. The partnership had access to triple the funds required. What happened?
Bob Burton, an investigative journalist, contacted the three companies: BullWheel IC3, Creative Urban Projects and Cable Car Consultants. All based in Toronto, Canada, not one had been incorporated at the time MWCC claimed they had funded the proposal. All three were owned and operated by one man: Mr Steven Dale. Dale had never funded, built or operated a cable car anywhere ever. He told Burton that cable cars were a "side interest". Read the jaw-dropping facts on the fake funders.
Soon after these revelations, the MWCC "terminated" this relationship—such as it was—and informed the public that is was seeking shareholders itself.
The first shares were issued in 2014. By the middle of 2018 the company had 16 shareholders and shares were $1.25 a piece. Together, the shareholders have about $1.2 million invested, but how much is cash and how much is "in-kind" is unknown. The financial status of the company is therefore unclear. What is certain is that the $1.2 million in share-holdings will need to be multiplied fifty fold in order to pay for a cable car.
Why would any one invest in the Mount Wellington Cableway Company? It proffers a wildly unpopular idea, an endeavour in which it has no experience and that involves bastardising the stone soul of Hobart?
According to the economics commentator John Lawrence investing in companies like the MWCC appeals to high-risk takers. Those who buy in at the beginning face the highest risk but pay the lowest price and would enjoy the highest return if the venture succeeds. You can be an unlucky bastard, too.
You need a password to access the "Shareholder Centre" but its members are not invisible.