Manchester's sugar daddy: I just called to say "I don't want to talk to you."
My coworkers don't let me take too many bong hits at work. That's how I know I didn't hallucinate this whole thing…
I answered the phone a couple of days back -- perplexed because no one ever calls me. On the other end of the line, a pleasant female voice. She's calling from "Palm Beach Capital" she says, and she'd like to discuss "Manchester Inc." or rather, the partners at her firm would. Could we arrange a conference call?
I ran the name through my mental database… Oh yeah, the mysterious Palm Beach Capital, the one I couldn't find any information on, but the one that is, according to Manchester, providing some very expensive funding for its used car-lot roll-up plan.
I told her the afternoon was bad, but I might be able to talk now. But first, a test question… "Are you the folks funding Manchester?"
"No," came the response, that's "Palm Beach Links Capital. We're a partner in that."
I ran the mental database again. Palm Beach Links Capital? Oh yeah, there was no info on that at all either.
"Really?" I respond. "I remember checking Florida business records and finding no information whatsoever on that name."
She put me on hold.
I pulled up www.sunbiz.org and did a search. Ah HA! There it is, a brand new entry for Palm Beach Links Capital. Whoever's providing the dough to Manchester, they're doing it through a freshly minted firm in Florida.
Then she gets back on the phone. I'm sorry, she tells me, the partners can't talk now. In fact, they don't want to talk at all anymore…
"Are you sure?" I ask. "Because now I'm pretty interested in hearing what it is they want to discuss."
"No." she says.
"Well then will you please at least tell me which Palm Beach Capital you are? There are about 20 listed in the Florida business records database."
"I'd rather not."
"What?" I reply. "Are you saying you called me to arrange a conference call with your partners, and now you won't even identify your employer?"
"Sorry," she said. "I can't."
Then she hung up.
I guess they had me confused with that other Seth Jayson, the one who doesn't do research, read filings, and is easily snowed by dog-and-pony shows from Florida money managers who are funding self-promotional billboard stocks…
Time for more digging.