(ed: this is from 2017 – but best we not forget how peter thiel has so screwed over new zealand – with the happy connivance of that useless tory government we just threw out –
and who now stand perpetually whining on the sideline..
and this sorry (for nz’ers) tale – this gives a particularly hollow ring to john keys’ claims to be a ‘deal-maker’ –
how could it not…?..
and yes..of course stephen joyce was a player..no surprises there..eh..?..)
A scheme funded by New Zealand taxpayers netted billionaire Peter Thiel tens of millions of dollars while his publicly funded investment partner barely broke even.
The partnering of Thiel’s Valar Ventures and the Government-owned New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) was launched by minister Steven Joyce in March 2012 – nine months after Thiel took his oath of citizenship at the New Zealand consulate in Santa Monica.
Joyce said at the time the venture was ‘part of the Government’s comprehensive business growth agenda’ – but a Herald investigation has discovered the arrangement was quietly ended in October when Thiel activated a generous buyback option allowing him and his private partners to claim all profits from the venture by cheaply buying out his public co-investor.
Valar and Thiel did not respond to questions about the buyback this week and have also declined to comment after numerous requests from both local and international media about the wider issue of his Kiwi citizenship.
A Wall St analyst told the Weekend Herald the clause left the Government facing a ‘horrendous risk-return proposition’ that had no place in agreements between commercial parties.
‘If a professional investor signed this deal they would be the butt of their colleagues’ jokes all the way out the door’ the analyst said.