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Tuesday February 26, 2013

Yusli to head new SPAC - Australaysia Resources and Minerals

By YVONNE TAN
yvonne@thestar.com.my


It aims to raise RM150mil in IPO

Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff

PETALING JAYA: The country's fourth special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Australaysia Resources and Minerals Bhd will be headed by former Bursa Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff (pic).

Sources familiar with the proposed exercise said the SPAC aimed to raise at least RM150mil via its initial public offering (IPO).

Australaysia has submitted its draft prospectus to the Securities Commission (SC) and is waiting for the SC to upload it on the website for an exposure period of two weeks, after which it is expected to study the results of the exposure before granting approval for the mining-related SPAC's listing on Bursa Malaysia, said one source.

Apart from Yusli, who will be the company's executive chairman, others on the board of directors include Australians David George Savage and David Kent McAdam, Irish Brian Egan, South American Carlos Armando Ballon Barraza, and Malaysian Lim Hun Soon @ David Li, all individuals with decades of global experience in the field of mining.

Savage, has been the president of mining corporation KazaX Minerals Inc since April 27 last year and has been its chief executive officer since January 2013. He has also held senior executive roles in the construction industry in Australia, Asia and the Middle East for more than two decades.

“Their strength will be in their execution ability,” said the source.

Interestingly, Yusli and Savage sit on the board of Mudajaya Holdings Bhd, with both being appointed in 2011.

Yusli is also a director at the recently launched Saffron Kuala Lumpur, the latest addition to the London-based property agency Saffron International.

The impending listing of Australaysia follows the listing of the country's first SPAC Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

Hibiscus managed to raise some RM235mil from its IPO back in 2011.

So far, two other SPACs, namely, oil and gas SPAC, CLIQ Energy Bhd, and mining-related SPAC, TerraGali Resources Bhd, have had their draft prospectuses on the SC website.

However, there is no clear indication when these would be listed.

Sources said funding remains an issue for all SPACs, partly due to their lack of earnings visibility, which adds to the reluctance of investors to take up positions in them.

A SPAC is essentially a company that has no operations or income-generating business at the point of its IPO.

Instead, it will undertake an IPO for the purpose of raising funds to acquire operating companies or businesses.

A SPAC is given three years to secure a qualifying asset, or 90% of the IPO proceeds must be returned to the IPO investors.

The adviser, managing underwriter and placement agent for the proposed listing of Australaysia is Aminvestment Bank Bhd.

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