This morning, with the filing of a Form 15-15D, a shell company called True 2 Beauty Inc. officially folded up its tent.
Nothing remarkable about that in and of itself. Deregistrations, delistings, and terminations are regular events on the public stock market. But the tale of Newport Beach, California-based True 2 Beauty is an unusual one. (Teaser: If a movie is made about this company, perhaps Paris Hilton can be persuaded to play herself.)
The company had its origins as a would-be mining company headquartered in the suburb of Burnaby, B.C., outside Vancouver. Burrow Mining Inc., as it was known then, filed the paperwork to go public in January 2008. Its stated objective: to scout for gold, silver, or copper buried beneath the plot of land it had recently purchased for the kingly sum of $7,500.
Its president was a 26-year-old “fitness consultant” named Cathy M.T. Ho. She had no experience with geological exploration.
After two years, the company had attracted 30 investors. But little else was happening. Burrow’s filings during this period come like the ticks of a metronome, each offering the same refrain: “We have not yet been able to access the property to commence the work [of surveying or mining] due to seasonal conditions.” The one significant thing that does change with each filing: the company’s cumulative net loss.
Everything changed early this year. The fitness instructor was out, replaced by corporate attorney Richard Weed. Burrow Mining abruptly “shifted its focus to the beauty industry,” changing its name and relocating its offices to Newport Beach, California. Agreements were entered into with beauty companies called Hair Tech and Dreamcatchers, including the acquisition of an endorsement license with Paris Hilton. All this, and the board approved a 10:1 stock split.
Then, nearly as abruptly, the wheels of the operation seemed to fall off. The agreements with the other beauty companies were terminated (adieu, Paris). The one constant through all this turmoil was that the company was hemorrhaging money. In its last 10-Q, the company reported that its cumulative net loss since inception exceeded a quarter of a million dollars.
All this is disclosed in the company’s SEC Filings. We will leave it to others to speculate about how much more was going on behind the scenes. In fact, the the sad tale of True 2 Beauty has thus far unfolded largely under the radar — with one notable exception, a provocative article published in April by columnist David Baines of the Vancouver Sun. If Baines is right, we may not have heard the last of this story.