Friday, February 29, 2008

CIRM Loans Turning Into Cash

(Editor's note: The following was based on incorrect information from the state treasurer's office. The notes were repaid and no windfall exists.)

The California stem cell agency appears to be the beneficiary of an $11 million windfall.

It comes in the form of cash from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation -- $10 million – and another $1 million from California venture capitalist J. Taylor Crandall.

Both had invested those sums in bond anticipation notes (BANs)issued by CIRM and were to have been repaid following the agency's California Supreme Court victory over its foes.

However, the state treasurer's office says the notes have "surrendered" by both the foundation and Crandall, meaning CIRM gets to keep the cash. The other purchasers of the bond anticipation notes have been repaid. And so has the state's $150 million loan to CIRM.

In response to a query from the California Stem Cell Report, Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, said,
"We don't have any new bond issues planned. The timing of the next issue largely will be determined by CIRM's requirements. We understand CIRM may make some facility grants soon. Initial funding for those grants would come from the state's Pooled Money Investment Account."
Crandall is managing partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners and has "senior responsibility" for its technology, media and telecom groups.

The Moore Foundation is the creation of Gordon Moore (see photo) and his wife. Moore is one of the founders of Intel. Ed Penhoet, vice chairman of CIRM, was president of the foundation at the time of the BAN purchase.

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