It’s been five long days since we posted Ken Ham’s Ark Bonds — Deadline Today. That was about the unrated municipal bonds being issued to finance the proposed Ark Encounter project, which will be operated by a company controlled by Answers in Genesis (AIG). AIG is the on-line ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. AIG also owns and operates the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
According to reliable information (from Bloomberg), 06 February was the deadline for the bond offering, and if about $29 million worth of bonds weren’t sold by then, all the money from bonds that actually were sold must be refunded. Or, as apparently happened when an earlier deadline came and went, it’s conceivable that the sale period might have been extended yet again — although we don’t know the legalities or likelihood of such a maneuver.
Anyway, we have continued to search for news. As we noted before, Hambo’s deal is small change in the world of finance, so it’s understandable that no one in the financial press is paying much attention. Nevertheless, although the gang at AIG were probably under a legal requirement not to discuss the bond sale during the underwriting period (sales talk about a new issue needs to be accompanied by a prospectus), now that the deadline has passed, surely Hambo’s outfit would be shouting about their success — if there were any success. But they continue to be silent.
That pretty much tells us what we need to know, which is that either: (1) the bond issue was a catastrophe; or (2) somehow the sales period has been extended yet again, and Hambo continues to be silent because that’s a legal necessity. It’s gotta be one or the other.
To illustrate our diligence in searching for news, we not only search on Hambo’s name, and the full name of AIG, and “Ark Encounter,” and even “Noah’s Ark,” but we also search on “Crosswater Canyon” (the AIG-owned company that is actually borrowing the money), and “City of Williamstown” (the Kentucky municipality that is fronting for the bond issue, but which has no financial responsibility for paying interest or principal), and also “Ross Sinclaire & Associates” — the underwriters of the bond issue. We get no hits from a news search on any of those.
But we went even further. This is the website of the underwriters: Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC. We can’t find Hambo’s bond issue listed on their Bond Calender, which suggests to us that the deal is dead. We don’t know that it’s dead, of course, but that’s how it looks to us.
Nevertheless, ol’ Hambo is a resourceful fellow, and the Ark may not yet be sunk. We’ll keep looking for news, so stay tuned to this blog!
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