Huntingdon Life Sciences >> Financial History

Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) have been reliant on loans since the beginning of the SHAC campaign. 

• 1998-2000: HLS initially had a £12 million loan with NatWest bank.
• 2000: When Royal Bank of Scotland took over NatWest they did not want to take the campaign with them, and when HLS failed to pay their money back in time they wrote off the debt for £1.
• January 2001: HLS then borrowed $15 million from US investment bank Stephens Inc., but after a year of campaigning they dropped HLS.
• July 2001: HLS make an agreement with Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to use private banking facilities via the Bank of England after HLS couldn't find any high street bank that would give them banking facilities.
• 2002: Largest insurance firm in the world, Marsh Inc., stop their insurance with HLS after protests. No other insurance firm will touch them and HLS are forced to get insurance cover through the UK government.
• 2005-2006: Two failed attempts to secure a lender.
• By 2006 HLS were $100 million dollars in debt after securing an "anonymous" foreign loan. No other financial institution would touch them.
• 2008: SHAC traced the anonymous 2006 loan through various shell companies back to the Fortress Investment Group, a US based financial company who specialize in high risk loans and acquisitions.
• 2009: HLS are still $70 million in debt and are meant to pay it back in 2011. HLS was in crisis in March 2009 when they were unable to make one of their loan repayments. Managing Director Brian Cass even tried putting out a desperate plea in the UK national press calling on a bank to give them a loan and bank account, but no one responded as HLS remain a pariah.
• 2009: Following a global campaign against shareholders and the NYSE, HLS was left with only one option, to go private and get a further buyout loan to keep going. Before the buyout could take place, HLS were forced to commission an independent analysis of their financial situation. The results were incredible as HLS was proven to be on the brink of bankruptcy. (see The Plymouth Report.)
• 2010-2011: Following protests and talks with SHAC campaigners, Fortress Investment Group dropped their loan with HLS, losing $8 million in revenues.
• 2012-2013: The buyout loan from 2009 is now with U.S. Bank National Association, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank are the largest ever lender to HLS.