Date: Tuesday 22 May 2012
Serial resources company starter Algy Cluff is back in the saddle again with Cluff Natural Resources, which started trading on AIM on Tuesday, May 22nd.
The company is currently a cash shell which plans to capitalise on the venerable Mr Cluff's contacts in the resource sector both in the UK and in Africa.
According to the company's admission document, the company reckons its investing policy could be substantially implemented within 18 months but Algy Cluff told Sharecast he hopes to be off and running "a bit quicker than that," with July targeted as a likely date for the first acquisition.
"We have two companies, one in Europe, one in Africa, that we have our eye on," Cluff said.
Slightly unusually, the company will be targeting investments n both the oil and mining sectors.
"In the mining business, your exploration dollar goes much further. You are drilling down to a shallower depth than in the oil business, but on the other hand, the mining business is a lot more labour intensive, and is more cyclical," Cluff said.
Other than restricting its field of operations to the UK or Africa, the company is keeping most of its options open: the proposed investments to be made by the company may be either quoted or unquoted; made by direct acquisition or through farm-ins; either in companies, partnerships or joint ventures; or direct interests in oil & gas and mining projects. Furthermore, the company’s equity interest in a proposed investment may range from a minority position to total ownership.
Cluff Natural Resources came to AIM after placing 75m shares at 5p each with institutional investors, many of whom will be familiar with Algy Cluff's track record: he was one of the early movers and shakers in the North Sea oil boom of the seventies; set up African miner Cluff Resources in the eighties; co-founded Cluff Mining (subsequently renamed Ridge Mining) in the noughties (the company was ultimately bought by Aquarius Platinum), while in the same decade he also founded Cluff Gold, where he was Non-Executive Chairman until deciding to give up the position in April of this year to start a new venture at the age of 72.
The placing price of 5p gives a market value of Ł4.35m for the whole company - management retained a 14.5% stake in the company and has undertaken not to sell any shares for at least 12 months.
The placing raised Ł3.28m in new funds which look set to be used for general running costs, rather than as ammo for takeovers.
"The idea is that this is a vehicle for my investment plans. We intend to use paper [the company's shares] to fund acquisitions," Cluff told Sharecast.
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