New Capricorn management wants to revisit ‘past failed’ deals
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The new management of troubled junior explorer Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) has decided it will again look at either selling its projects or getting someone to take it over.
But only once the company has its finances in order.
Two shareholders, Neon Capital and Nero Resource Fund, recently succeeded in spilling the board of Capricorn — a move that prompted the emerging gold producer’s managing director and CFO to also quit.
Both Neon and Nero are no longer substantial shareholders.
Doug Jendry, a representative of Nero, has now taken on the role of chairman and Tim Kestell, a representative of Neon, will act in an executive role during the “transitional period”.
The first item of business for the new management is to top up the kitty with at least $10m possibly through a pro rata offer to shareholders.
Capricorn still has about $2.2m in the bank, but it needs to pay about $1.4m by the end of this month for an accommodation village and some mining infrastructure it just bought.
On top of that it will cost the company $2.1m to relocate it to its Karlawinda gold project in WA.
Capricorn will also spend between $1.3m and $1.5m on exploration at the project in the first half of this year.
“The board is focusing on getting the company’s finances in order before running a proper process in the coming months to revisit past failed transactions and to seek other potential suitors,” Mr Jendry told investors in a company update.
One of those “failed” deals was an $85m all-scrip takeover bid by gold producer Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).
That didn’t get across the line because of Capricorn’s largest shareholder Hawke’s Point, which had an 18.9 per cent stake at the time and wouldn’t back the deal.
Other substantial shareholders, however, were in favour of the deal.
The failure of that deal saw Capricorn’s share price slide from a high of 9.4c to a low of 5.5c in December. It has recovered slightly to about 7c.
Meanwhile, Regis’ share price has been going great guns, hitting a 52-week high of $5.82 in late February. It is currently trading at $5.46 — a nearly 50 per cent premium to what Regis was trading at just before the takeover offer was tabled.
Mark Clark, the chairman of Regis at the time the takeover bid was rejected, told Stockhead previously that Regis did not plan to try and restart negotiations with Capricorn at that point, but it was looking at other opportunities.
Stockhead has contacted Regis to find out if fresh management might reignite its interest in the junior.
Although Hawke’s Point’s representative, Stuart Pether, has remained on the board as a non-executive director, so any similar takeover proposition from Regis may still be met with resistance.
Mr Jendry said a number of companies and advisors had expressed interest in initiating talks with Capricorn to potentially reach a deal to buy its assets or the company.