Peter Hambro wins battle for miner’s rescue

Ollie Gordon
INVESTORS in Russia-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk yesterday voted in favour of the board’s proposed restructuring plan, rejecting an alternative proposal from activist shareholder Sapinda.

The troubled London-listed miner will now proceed with a deeply discounted $235m (£152m) rights issue underwritten by founders Peter Ham­bro and Pavel Maslovskiy.

Hambro. the chairman, said: “Our shareholders have voted decisively in favour of these refinancing plans that secure Petropavlovsk’s future. We are particularly grateful to the large number of private investors who responded to our requests and made the effort to vote for the proposals. This vote means the board can now move ahead to complete the company’s refinancing and then fully exploit the enormous underlying value of its assets.”

Amsterdam-based investment fund Sapinda had called on the company’s shareholders to reject the board’s refinancing proposal, arguing it was heavily in favour of bondholders over shareholders. The activist investor – which acquired an eight per cent stake in the miner and said it spoke for 11 per cent of shareholders – also drew up an alternative refinancing plan for investors to consider.

A Sapinda spokesperson said yesterday: “We invested in Petropavlovsk because we think Peter Hambro and Pavel Maslovskiy have built a good company with strong prospects. We are currently the largest shareholder in the company and will evaluate our options.”