Sunday 25 September 2016

Man from Almonty 'sick of being portrayed as a 'bull*****ing liar'

Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30

Almonty operates a tungsten mine about 150km from Ormonde's planned tungsten mine, both in Spain
Almonty operates a tungsten mine about 150km from Ormonde's planned tungsten mine, both in Spain

Canadian firm Almonty has conceded defeat in its battle to buy Ormonde Mining.

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But in an interview with the Irish Independent, Almonty chief executive Lewis Black has blasted Ormonde's management and the plan to sell 70pc of its undeveloped tungsten mine project in Spain to US private equity giant Oaktree.

Despite admitting he would probably get in trouble with the Takeover Panel, Mr Black said that he was "sick and tired" of being portrayed as "a bull*****ing liar".

Almonty offered to buy Ormonde for about €27m in cash and stock at what Mr Black insists is a premium to the deal being offered by Oaktree, and which would enable a combined firm to secure "tens of millions of dollars" in synergies.

Mr Black said that he believes Ormonde will have sufficient votes from shareholders to seal the Oaktree deal next week. Almonty operates a tungsten mine about 150km from Ormonde's planned tungsten mine, both in Spain. On Tuesday, Ormonde shareholders will vote on the Oaktree deal. Oaktree plans to provide a total of almost $100m (€87m) in financing to fund the development of Ormonde's tungsten mine.

It emerged that exploration and cinemas investor Tom Anderson has boosted his stake in Ormonde to almost 6.5pc by buying over 30m shares offloaded by what was Ormonde's second biggest shareholder, Switzerland-based Tiberius Asset Management. Mr Anderson said that his investment is a "play on tungsten".

Mr Black insisted that Almonty had funds to buy Ormonde and could secure money to develop the Irish company's mine, and under more favourable conditions.

A spokesman for Ormonde said Oaktree's finance will give shareholders "significant longer term exposure to both the project and the broader tungsten market".

Irish Independent

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