independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Takeover likely at Ennex International

ENNEX International, the listed resource company which lost nearly two-thirds of its stock market value in the past year, may be on the verge of a takeover bid.

Unconfirmed reports at the weekend suggest that both the managing director, Christian Schaffalitzky and chairman Brian Cusack have resigned from the company. And the reports, still unconfirmed, also say that a share stake may be about to be purchased by veteran Irish/ American oilman, Emmet O'Connell.

Ennex, currently capitalised at 4.1m, has been a victim of the continuing bear market in resource shares as metal prices have collapsed. The company had high hopes that it could bring its massive Shaimerden zinc mining project in Kazakhstan into operation, but the recession in the mining industry put a short term question mark over the the plans.

Though details are scant, it is believed that a root and branch reform of Ennex International has been decided upon. Industry sources suggest that Mr Schaffalitzky and Mr Cusack are leaving the company and control of the firm has been assumed for the moment by Ennex founder, Mike McCarthy and his son, John.

Mike McCarthy is one of the long established players in the Irish exploration industry. He was the key partner of Pat Hughes, the man who created the renaissance of Irish mining in the 1950s and when Ennex was established in the 1980s, he and Pat Hughes dominated the company.

Mr McCarthy could not be contacted yesterday to comment on the reports which say that the Shaimerden mine that would have cost as much as $227m to bring into production, has been sold.

The suggestion that the chairman and the MD have resigned has been linked with the intriguing notion that Emmet O'Connell may be about to make a comeback into a listed resource company by buying into Ennex and re-orient the firm as an oil/gas exploration specialist.

Mr O'Connell made a memorable impression on the oil exploration industry when he promoted his company Eglinton Oil & Gas in the 1980s. Eglinton had some famous South American oil exploration forays, especially in Colombia, and many thousands of Irish punters invested in the company in the hope of an oil bonanza.

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