Craig Bouchard, who is, according to the company, no longer Braidy Industries’ CEO or Chairman of the Board and is merely a board member, says he wants to pursue foreign strategic partners representing patient capital “that will stay with us for generations,” according to his Facebook post.
Bouchard said some of the directors want to focus on finding American private equity investment. He, though, said that’s not the route to go.
This in-house disagreement reached the surface — and the public eye — when Business Wire first reported Thursday that Bouchard had stepped down, according to Braidy Industries, as CEO and Chairman of the Board. Tom Modrowski and Charles Price are taking over those spots, respectively, said the company.
Bouchard said the board merely “attempted” to remove him, and that it’s not finalized. The company never indicated such murkiness.
Bottom line: It’s a mess. And even if it’s not a mess, it appears to be a mess.
Perception goes a long way.
How difficult will it be for Braidy to plow through this obstacle and attain enough investors to build this record-setting mill?
Now, Modrowski, Price and even Bouchard seem to want Braidy Industries to thrive — well, of course Bouchard does; why would a father name a company after his daughter and want it to ultimately fail? For his own financial gain, power and prestige? We don’t believe that, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
Price said Braidy Industries is sticking with its plan of constructing the $1.7 billion aluminum mill, but will it still be at EastPark?
That’s not been made crystal clear, and no one at Braidy Industries is commenting at the moment.
“The Board and (new) CEO Tom Modrowski are committed to the Ashland community and focused on building the Kentucky mill,” read a statement from Price.
Well, it still says Kentucky, at least. The headquarters are still in downtown Ashland.
A Braidy executive indicated back in August 2019 that Braidy hoped to make a major announcement regarding its funding goal by October. That announcement never occurred.
At the time, Braidy had potential investors commanding more than $1 billion in capital interested in the venture, but commitments were not locked in.
Documents released this past fall indicate the plan to complete the mill is now set for sometime in 2022.
There are several students who are set to graduate this spring who plan to work for Braidy Industries. Fifteen of them will move on to Braidy subsidiaries Veloxint and NanoAl.
Can Braidy Industries still happen in northeastern Kentucky?
Time will tell, unless somebody at Braidy Industries wants to tell first.