Protestors disrupt GE trees corporate event (2014).

Protestors disrupt GE trees corporate event (2014).

The New Zealand Herald’s Brian Gaynor published a damning piece regarding investments in Rubicon, a primary investor in GE tree firm ArborGen.

“(Rubicon’s) performance has been dreadful, both in terms of profitability and sharemarket returns, yet it has had the same chief executive for over 15 years while three of its five non-executive directors, including Hugh Fletcher, were appointed in 2001,” Gaynor writes in the piece.

Gaynor writes that ArborGen has yet to break even 15 years after Rubicon began commercializing the operation.

The problem is that ArborGen has been a huge disappointment and Rubicon’s 2016 annual report had this to say about the joint venture: “Achieving strategic agreement on the growth and funding path for ArborGen moving forward is now the number one agenda item for the Partners. The business objectives are clear, with achieving a break-even/positive EBITDA position being the immediate target to report against.”

In January, ArborGen was found guilty of defrauding workers in the US and ordered to pay $53 million in legal fees.

Read Gaynor’s entire editorial here.


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