Jeb Bush and his capital investment company have set up several companies that, despite being registered to his office and being approved for “any and all lawful business,” have seemingly not yet done anything. A ThinkProgress review of corporate registration records with the Florida Department of State revealed several companies registered in Bush’s name but little additional information.
In addition to his lengthy and troubled history as a business consultant and corporate board member, in recent years former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has ventured into a new territory: capital investment. Since 2008, he and his partners have registered a lengthy array of secretive companies with the state of Florida.
CREDIT: Florida Department of State
Bush has registered Altara Investments LLC (November 2011), Columbus Equity Holdings LLC (May 2013), De Soto Partners LLC (May 2012, with his son Jeb Bush Jr.), and Granada Investment Holdings, LLC (January 2012) with the state of Florida. Aside from the names of officers, registered agents, and the Coral Gables address, virtually no information is available online or in state and federal records about these entities. ThinkProgress searched through state registration sites in Florida and Delaware, the EDGAR database of all SEC filings, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s databases, Nexis, federal court records, and multiple Internet search engines for each.
ThinkProgress reached out to Bush’s office to ask about what the companies are and what they are doing. A spokeswoman responded only to ask “for what purpose” was the inquiry being made. Each is based out of the same Coral Gables office suite at the historic Biltmore Hotel as his Jeb Bush & Associates consulting firm — they appear to be the only ones registered to Jeb Bush at that address.
In recent months, a few of these entities have filed disclosures with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. A July Bloomberg news story cited these in a story, entitled “Jeb Bush Raising Private Equity Funds as Campaign Weighed,” noting that a few of these companies are involved in venture capital investments in oil and gas interests. An AP story also noted that his Three B Partners is involved with Maghicle Driverless LLC, a self-driving car company.
In 2008, Bush co-founded Britton Hill Partners LLC and registered the company in the state of Delaware. The company website consists of its name and an “info@” email address. It registered its offices to Florida in 2012.
Several related entities have been registered in Florida since: Britton Hill Holdings, LLC; Britton Hill Holdings GP, LLC; Britton Hill Holdings I, LP; Britton Hill Holdings I GP, LP; Britton Hill Partners HK, LLC; BH Logistics, LP; BH Logisitcs GP, LP; BH Aviation Holdings, LP; BH Aviation Holdings GP, LLC, and BH Aviation Holdings GP, LP.
According to the Securities Exchange Commission’s records, three of those entities (Britton Hill Holdings I, LP, BH Logistics LP, and BH Aviation Holdings, LP) reported that they had sold securities for their funds, but all that is really known about them is that they have invested in a company that makes gas carrier ships and one involved with fracking.
As a private citizen, Bush’s holdings and investments need not be disclosed. But, should he opt to run for president in 2016, he would not only need to complete a personal financial disclosure, but also would likely face the same sort of scrutiny Mitt Romney faced over his holdings and Bain Capital record.