Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Mercantile Port LSE:MPL London Ordinary Share GG00B53M7D91 ORD NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.50p +10.81% 5.125p 5.00p 5.25p 5.125p 4.625p 4.625p 164,196 14:00:09
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Industrial Transportation 0.0 -1.1 -2.0 - 21.22

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Date Time Title Posts
26/7/201711:57Mercantile Ports and Logistics 630
13/1/200613:40Montpelier Group820
17/2/200511:08Cash rich MONTPELLIER under priced27
06/2/200517:41what merit in montpelier27
10/12/200408:16Montpellier (MPL) CHEAP. Share price=25.5p,NAV=40-50p,EPS=5-6p,P/E=4-5903

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Mercantile Port Daily Update: Mercantile Port is listed in the Industrial Transportation sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker MPL. The last closing price for Mercantile Port was 4.63p.
Mercantile Port has a 4 week average price of 3.38p and a 12 week average price of 3.38p.
The 1 year high share price is 11.25p while the 1 year low share price is currently 3.38p.
There are currently 414,017,699 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 178,643 shares. The market capitalisation of Mercantile Port is £21,218,407.07.
mount teide: As scams go spare a thought for the shareholders of Dryships - a once huge US quoted shipping company, and one of the largest bulk shipping and tanker owners in the World for much of the early part of this decade. Posted a couple of years ago that this company was being run by a con artist who somehow managed to get a Nasdaq listing for the Company, where he controlled all the voting stock. The accounts did not make any sense, the company was losing hundreds of $millions every year, and was routinely seeing huge sums of cash and ships getting transferred directly into a private shipping Company, OWNED by the Dryships CEO! It was inevitable it would all end in tears and so it proved - although it has taken two years and not before the CEO had drained every last dime out of the company. Incredibly, at the height of the shipping boom Dryships had a market cap around £10bn and a share price of $142. Following a total of 5 reverse stock splits in the last 7 months, any shareholder who owned 1 million shares, 12 months ago, would not be left with 3 full shares now - each with a value of 50 cents! Unbelievable, but true - there is a name for this practice: The Art of the Ultimate Scam! Like a magician the Dryships CEO has managed to make himself incredibly wealthy by turning shareholders $100 notes into tiny fractions of a cent, right before their very eyes! One hugely disgruntled shareholder closed out a 99.95% loss on the stock yesterday - on the grounds, if he had held on until today, the price would have dropped below the cost of actually selling it! He said he foolishly bought the stock for the dividend - "not my best decision - i got $532 .....only cost me $60,000!" (Bit like investing in MPL then, but without the dividend! Lol!) He went on to ruefully state "Anyone holding this as an investment after all that's been written about the company deserves to lose every last cent invested because it means no due diligence was done or greed got the better of them." He reckoned " Someone needs to put the CEO in the ground. If he lived in the US rather than Greece it would probably have already happened!' Another shareholder stated: 'At one time (couple years ago) I had enough shares (way over 100K) to be the 17th largest holder of DRYS. It all pretty much ended for me when the CEO sold the remaining profitable fleet vessels to himself. I knew it was likely over then, but, the damage was done. Since then he has Reverse stock spit so many times that I would have been driven out to below 1 share. CEO has taken a company that had a chance of recovering and transferred everything that had value to himself. He then started to symmetrically destroy every shareholder. Since he never bothered to Reverse split his preferred shares, it didn't cost him a dime. So if you think for one minute you could trust this guy with your hard earned sweat and blood, remember, I thought I could get on top of any Reverse split with over 100K shares. I was proved wrong - a very costly mistake.' Last week saw three law firms launch class action law suits agents Dryships. So far this week another 12 firms have launched lawsuits. The CEO? Latest market rumour is that he is busy working with his lead underwriter on another reverse stock split from the safety of his Athens mansion! The most worrisome aspect of this sorry story, is that other Greek shipowners are apparently picking up on the dodgy Dryships CEO's quick and dirty ways of raising capital and engaging in toxic financing schemes of their own. It is a huge shame, because this type of racket threatens to render much of the quoted shipping sector as un-investable.
mount teide: British Pensions Funds would have paid £110k at IPO for a shareholding the size of that 44k that went through earlier today. Its now worth £1.8k! Barely 2 days of management's average travelling expenses over the last seven years - which have totalled £2m since IPO; during which they have destroyed shareholder value on an almost unprecedented scale, reducing the share price from 250p to 4.25p. For which shareholders have not seen resignations but, Board promotions! The management were so embarrassed about shareholders publicising the scandal of their travelling and 5 star hotel expenses, they stopped reporting that information in the latest set of prelims, presumably because it has continued to rise and they want to keep the little perk of office and continue living in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to at shareholders expense. Some more details have emerged with respect to Sunny Varkey, the billionaire education entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Unesco Goodwill Ambassador serving writs on former Everonn Education directors Nikhil Gandhi and P Kishore(MD) in connection with allegedly carrying out fraudulent transactions and siphoning off huge sums of funds from Everonn, of as much as £12m: MPL Executive Chairman Gandhi's immediate family have been implicated in the alleged fraud and cases filed against them too. The matter is now being investigated by the Serious Crime Branch of the Special Fraud Office following a formal complaint from a livid Sunny. Following Sunny's takeover of Everonn Education, his accountants found the company's books to be a work of fiction and the accounts manipulated. Talking of works of fiction - despite TWO reminders to the NOMAD, we are still to see any developments with respect to the Shareholders Circular to raise £37m being in breach of the Port Operating Concession: Here is the latest reminder to the Head of Compliance at the Nomad Cenkos: Good afternoon Ms Wood, Thank you for the long overdue clarification by way of RNS, of the situation with respect to Mr N Gandhi’s subscription shares. Although, in view of Grant Thornton’s involvement as Mercantile’s auditors, it would have been a little more re-assuring if the RNS had also included confirmation that the funds had actually been received in the Guernsey bank account, as stated in the Jan 2017 RNS. You may recall Grant Thornton audited AIM fraud Globo's accounts. Shortly after Globo issued an audited financial statement cheerfully claiming the Company had circa £100m on deposit, it proved to be a total fabrication. In light of this, i recently wrote to Grant Thornton asking what methodology they use, to ensure cash funds claimed by the management of Companies like Mercantile, that they get paid extremely well to audit, are actually in the bank accounts. I received the following rather unhelpful reply: Thank you for your email enquiry. We owe a duty of confidentiality to our client and cannot discuss any details relating to the client about which you are seeking information. Your sincerely For and on behalf of Grant Thornton (UK) LLP You will recall i also sent you the following email message on 16 June 2017: 'There is an Risk Factor detailed in the IPO document, concerning a condition of the Karanja Port Operating Dead of Lease, which has been breached by the management when they elected to proceed with the £37m cash raise in October 2016. For which we are yet to find a Company statement confirming this matter has been satisfactorily dealt with, in order to protect shareholders interests.' 'IPO - Risk Factors Reliance on SKIL as the promoter of the Project: 'It is a condition of the Deed of Lease that SKIL, KIPL and their respective promoters and affiliates retain a minimum 26%, directly or indirectly, in the Project (the ‘‘Minimum Threshold’R17;). If that interest is not maintained the MMB may seek to terminate the Deed of Lease, which would have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as acting as a potential deterrent to potential acquirers of the Company.' 'The Board believes it is unlikely that the Minimum Threshold will be breached in the foreseeable future. In the event that a transaction was proposed in the future that would be likely to cause a breach of the Minimum Threshold, the Board would have to determine whether or not to proceed with such a transaction, taking into account all of the circumstances at that time. The Board believes that it may be possible to reach agreement with the MMB in the future with respect to reducing or eliminating the Minimum Threshold ONCE THE PROJECT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED AND IS OPERATIONAL,ALTHOUGH THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT ANY SUCH AGREEMENT WILL BE REACHED.' Incredibly, the breach was news to the your account representative Stephen Keys when i first brought it to his attention many, many months ago. Yet, as detailed in the IPO documentation, despite the breach carrying the risk of loss of the Operating Concession and, the total loss of all shareholder value, it is simply extraordinary that some 8 months later, after completely overlooking its importance and significance in the production of the Shareholders Circular to raise £37m in October 2016, for which Cenkos were extremely well remunerated, shareholders are still yet to see an appropriate response from the Nomad/Company, in line with their duties and responsibilities with respect to the UK Corporate Governance Code and AIM Rules for Nominated Advisors. I would politely remind Cenkos that during this period, the market capitalisation of Mercantile Ports & Logistics has dropped by some 60% - do you think that shareholders might consider the lack of regulatory oversight from the Nomad in this connection, despite it being repeatedly brought to its attention, may have been a contributing factor in the appalling loss of shareholder value since October 2016 and indeed, at other times since IPO, where a lack of due diligence by the Nomad has resulted in RNS, Financial Statements and Shareholders Circulars being issued by Mercantile, that the late Alan Clarke MP might, with the benefit of hindsight, describe as being extremely ‘economical with the actualite’. Kind regards, AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: Looks like M&G reduced on Friday - remarkable that the share-price fell 98% from IPO and 55% from the recent placing, before it dawned on them that MPL may not be similar to 99% of the Ports Sector - i.e. safe, well managed, dividend paying, low-risk infrastructure asset investments. If they had stuck their money in low risk Dubai Ports World (DPW) in 2010, instead of being 98% down here, they would have received nearly 30% of their original investment back in dividends and seen their capital appreciate 225%. No investment advice intended or offered. AIOHO/DYOR Seems MPL's II's not only failed to carry out any Due Diligence worthy of the name - but also failed to heed any of Warren Buffet's stock market basic warnings for beginners: “Never invest in a business you don't understand.” particularly if you fail to carry out any quality due diligence “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” MPL's failure to hit any progress targets/timelines whatsoever should have had II's and PI's stampeding for the exit doors long ago or demanding wholesale changes to the Board - not supporting Shareholders Circulars to raise another £37m! “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” Just because the MPL share-price had dropped 95%, it did not necessarily make a £30m placing cheap. "If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.” MPL never achieved a single construction target or timeline - share-price is down 98%. "I try to buy stock in businesses that an idiot can run. Because sooner or later, one will.” Uniquely, MPL's II's invested in a business run by an entire executive management of idiots. Led by an Executive Chairman charged with securities fraud and served with writs alleging he stole tens of £millions from another company he had executive responsibility for. “If you are in a poker game and after 20 minutes you don't know who the patsy is, then you’re the patsy." Correct - particularly, if it takes 7 years of investing in MPL and losing 98% for you to work out who the mug is! “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.” Correct - or more precisely, beware of MPL Executives bearing IPO Documents and Shareholders Circulars! Moral of the story - always carry out plenty of post investment due diligence - and if you realise you have made a mistake, get out sooner rather than later - as these situations rarely change and end happily! AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: For anyone considering an investment in Mercantile Ports and Logistics(share price currently down 98% post IPO for the development of a fully funded real estate asset), or possibly any AIM company - listed below is a summary of my experience of 'communicating' with those, with Corporate Governance or Regulatory responsibilities to fulfil with respect to shareholders, other stakeholders and the General Public. Emailed/Written to MPL 3 times - no reply or acknowledgement Emailed/Written to Main Contractor 3 times - no reply or acknowledgement Emailed/Written to an Executive Director 2 times - no reply or acknowledgement Emailed/Written to the MMB(Mumbai Port Authority) - no reply or acknowledgement Emailed/Written to Nomad 3 times - no reply or acknowledgement Written to Aim Regulator - acknowledgement only Emailed/Written to Redleaf Comms on numerous occasions - always received an immediate reply or acknowledgement. Why Redleaf is continuing to put at risk their generally good City reputation(they are doing a fine job for CTR which we also hold), by helping a failed management(at shareholders expense), try and put a rich deep gloss on the total investment disaster that is MPL is a complete mystery, only perhaps plausible if Redleaf is being rewarded at MPL shareholders expense with a contract generous beyond the realms of avarice. No investment advice intended, offered or inferred. AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: Looking forward to the Preliminary results which i understand are imminent. Apparently, the Executive 'Management' and their advisors have been working on them for a month. Since the lot of them have not got any senior level Port or Shipping Industry operating experience between them, the results should be treated with extreme caution for investment purposes. Particularly, after last year, where they miraculously managed to lose and find £16.6m between mid June 2016 and the end of June 2016, despite saying in the mid June Prelims that the cash burn and debt drawdown had been as expected during the previous 6 months. Sadly, the market had to wait until the September Interims for this horrendous cash burn forecasting error to be revealed and amended! In the meantime what shareholders prospective and existing, should take no notice of with regard to the port asset they would be buying into with an investment in this company, is the Website front page pictorial of the port layout design of their only asset under construction, or the '1,000m cargo handling quay and ship to shore cranes' in the accompanying text detailing the berth/cargo handling equipment specification. Shareholders, will i'm sure be looking forward to confirmation, written and photographic, that the expected Project progress targets detailed in the Shareholders Circular dated 31 October 2016 to raise an additional £37m have been met, after the company's appalling history of don delivery, which has seen the share price fall from 250p at IPO to 6.5p today. Shareholders Circular: Subject to the Company being able to secure the Funding by the end of the first quarter of 2017, the Company is working to the following timetable in order to achieve full operational completion of the Facility by the end of the third quarter of 2017: Expected Progress targets: By the end of January 2017 the Company expects to have: • completed the dredging requirement; • reclaimed 70%(140 Acres) of the land; • constructed two berths, one of which will be capable of receiving vessels. Actual Progress Achieved: * APPROACH CHANNEL & BERTH DREDGING STOPPED DURING H2/2017 MONSOON SEASON * ZERO LAND RECLAMATION PROGRESS - same 75 acres as reported IN June 2016 * CONSTRUCTED ZERO BERTHS - No berth piling added since the 100m OF Sept 2016 By the end of the Q1/2017 the Company expects to have: • reclaimed 90%(180 acres) of land • constructed four berths, three capable of receiving vessels • entered into commercial agreements with end users. Actual Progress: * RECLAIMED 79 ACRES OF LAND - JUST 4% OF THE 105 ACRE TARGET IN 9 MONTHS * CONSTRUCTED ZERO BERTHS - ADDED JUST A FURTHER 30M of piling SINCE Sept 2016 * NO SIGNED AGREEMENTS - A SINGLE MOU WITH AN OILFIELD MAINTENANCE COMPANY By the end of the Q2/2017 the Company expects to have: • completed the balance of reclamation work; • carried out further ground improvement works; • constructed the remaining berths, four will be capable of receiving vessels • completed the sourcing of all necessary equipment. So in the Preliminary Results shareholders should look out for written confirmation of the following, accompanied by website photo's: 200 ACRES OF LAND RECLAMATION BERTH PILING COMPLETE - 6 BERTHS CONSTRUCTED - 4 READY TO RECEIVE VESSELS. ALL PORT CARGO HANDLING EQUIPMENT SOURCED The market is always supremely confident of making predictions where MPL is concerned, because of the management's perfect track record of proving their own progress targets to be nothing more than a work of complete fiction. We predicted that at best 20% of the progress the management expected to achieve by end of Jan 2017 would be made - sadly, even we were shocked to find it was Zero for land reclamation, and about 10% for berth piling. Our prediction for end of Q2/2017 is: 100 acres of land reclaimed - just 25 acres added in 12 months Zero berths complete - 200m of jetty piling only - 140m added in 12 months Zero port cargo handling equipment on site. This would at best represent around 20% of the expected target for land reclamation and berth piling/construction, while a circa £6.4m a year debt interest payment demand is running! As mentioned previously, the figure to look out for will be the cash burn since the June 2016 Preliminaries and September 2016 Interims. The Management travelling expenses should also prove interesting - we have a book going on whether it will be above or below £300k/year or £25k a month. The smart money is on it being above, unless of course they have been able to convince their auditors Grant Thornton(of the £100m Globo AIM fraud fame!), that a decent chunk could be shovelled into the huge general administrative costs. AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: Readers will be aware that as a ITD Cementation shareholder i have written to ITD on three occasions requesting information as to the current status of the £57m MPL Karanja Contract. Particularly since ITD is now a shareholder in MPL and a beneficiary of considerable additional revenue from the project outside of the original contract specification. Still yet to receive an acknowledgement never mind a reply! It is interesting to note that on the ITD website under 'Marine Structures' there is very detailed information of all the existing Major contracts currently under construction or recently completed, many with photographs. Karanja Port - despite being of greater contact value than a considerable number of the Major Projects detailed on the website, is conspicuous by its absence! One ITD Project that may be of interest to MPL shareholders is the CONTAINER TERMINAL AT MUNDRA FOR ADANI PORT. It has a fixed quay wall and terminal infrastructure very similar to what MPL shareholders were expecting at see at Karanja, albeit with an engineering specification an order of magnitude greater. Since it is the only port on the Indian West coast capable of handling the latest generation of containerships, which have deadweights in excess of 160,000 tonnes. (A cargo capacity some 40 times larger than the largest vessel now expected to be handled at Karanja). hTTp:// The Adani Port Container Terminal has a super-heavyweight specification quay of length 713m, with a width of 30m and minimum draft of 17.5m for handling ultra large container ships, with lengths in excess of 400m and beam of 60m. Ships so large even the JNPT terminals are unable to handle them due to draft restrictions in the approach channel that would need an estimated £700m of dredging to deepen the channel by a further 2m to handle these ships. To put the size of these vessels and the engineering specification of the quay and port facilities to handle them in some perspective: the largest ships capable of directly using the Karanja facility are 4,000 deadweight tonne dry bulk coasters - Adani Port's target containerships are so large they would be able to carry on board up to eight of these little coasters as deck cargo! Adani Port has 80 acres of reclaimed hardstanding, heavily re-inforced to enable 5 high stacking of heavyweight deep sea containers and handling within the storage compound using twelve 41 tonne high capacity container gantry cranes. The port's annual container design capacity is more than twice that of Karanja at 1.4m TEU's. It was recently completed 3 months ahead of schedule - a remarkable achievement since it started construction some considerable time after Karanja. Total cost? - try £152m MPL's management's latest estimated cost of Karanja Terminal to provide a 360m lightweight open jetty for small coasters serviced by a yet be be verified -3.5m below CD access channel and, probably around 150 acres of reclaimed land, strengthened to a specification considerably below that at Adani - £148m. A good example of why the MPL share-price has fallen from 250p to 6.5p for a project that according to management's cash burn forecasts, has a £6.4m per annum bank debt interest payment now running, with no revenue and less than half the heavily scaled back berth piling and land reclamation work completed.
mount teide: As mentioned in earlier posts, we are still to receive a reply to correspondence requesting technical information from both ITD(as a shareholder) and the MMB. It would seem that Indian companies and Government regulatory authorities are either very, very slow at responding or are a very 'close knit' family. Likewise, we have emailed SPL/MPL/Jay/Pavan previously requesting clarification on a number of matters, many previously mentioned in RNS statements, with a similar result, forcing us to go through the highly defensive NOMAD representative to secure access to the information. A few examples of the obfuscation used by MPL management to render any attempt to monitor on-site construction progress totally impossible. Incredibly, we have seen more site update photographs provided by Google Earth since June 2016, than the SINGLE one made available by MPL during the last 11 months - from a management who stated that now the build out was progressing with a fully mobilised workforce, they will keep the market regularly updated. Well, the cynic might suggest they did in a way with 8 photographic site updates in 6 months before the surprise notification of a £37m cash raise for a company that the Board stated 'was not cash strapped'. RNS - 16th June 2016 - 58 Piles have been laid for the construction of the jetty RNS - 22nd Sept 2016 - Piling for 100 meters of jetty completed RNS - 13th Mar 2017 - Piling for approx 40% of final quay length completed I defy anyone regardless of technical knowledge and experience to determine what the actual progress has been from that information; designed clearly make any attempt to hold management accountable for the abject failure to get remotely near the hugely misleading progress targets that went in the Shareholders Circular date 31 October 2016 and, the passage of time has shown to be a complete work of fiction - most notably that the land reclamation and quay piling had continued without material interruption since October 2015, and the land reclamation and quay piling construction progress targets post June 2016 were many multiples of anything previously achieved. Likewise, an attempt to conceal that just 4 acres of land reclamation had occurred against a Shareholders Circular to raise £37m that stated an expected target of 105 additional acres, can be seen in the few RNS statements updating the market as to the progress achieved. A clear attempt to mix hectares and acres to complicate matters for those not technically inclined and NO attempt to provide an update as to the progress achieved against the expected targets given to the market in the RNS statements. RNS - 16th June 2016 - 30 hectares to be completed by the end June RNS - 22nd Sept 2016 - 30 hectares of reclamation now complete RNS - 13th Mar 2016 - 79 acres(40%) of overall reclamation target achieved. MPL management should stop issuing construction progress targets since they serve no purpose other than to routinely publicise their total incompetence and ineffectiveness and, reduce their shareholders to nothing more than a laughing stock. As always, the market has 20 - 20 vision and has no trouble seeing the management for what they are: reducing the share-price from 250p to a staggering 7.65p for what is the build out of a largely fixed price real estate construction project. AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: The level of misrepresentation and incompetence by the MPL executive management is truly breathtaking for a London Stock Exchange quoted company and, incredibly continues to plumb new depths despite numerous complaints to the Nomad. The new MPL website has the following introduction about the activities of the company for prospective investors: Mercantile Ports & Logistics was established to develop, own and operate port & logistics facilities. Its maiden project is the development of a multipurpose terminal and logistics facility at Karanja. The Terminal will be comprised of: * A 1,000 metre quay which will be serviced by a combination of ship to shore and multipurpose cranes * 200 acre back-up area for cargo storage. Of course, this is what shareholders were told they were going to get when they paid 250p a share back in October 2010, to enable the company to raise £73m to part fund the project. Ah, the benefit of hindsight! In 2013, in Arden Partners 2013 Note investors were again given the same terminal specification, supported by detailed plans drawn up by Royal Haskoning the principle engineers appointed to design the terminal. Then, some 7 years later after endlessly being told over the years that the company was not in anyway cash strapped, it was explained to shareholders, that if they put their hand in their pockets for another £37m at an eye-watering 96% discount to the IPO share-price they could have a range of modifications/enhancements(the Directors preferred design) to the basic specification all completed by Q3/2017. Incredibly, some 6 months later what shareholders foolish enough to support the additional fundraising find out they are actually going to get - probably completed sometime in 2019 if they are lucky(look at the implications this will have for bank debt interest payments), provided the present dry season rate of progress is maintained for the next 18 months to two years is: No 1,000m Quay No ship to shore cranes because cranes with 150metre jibs have not yet been invented No 4.5m dredged access channel No 200 acres of storage No new 2 mile port access road to replace the current heavily potholed dirt track Instead, shareholders for £150m are to get: A 400m Jetty Small mobile jetty cranes A 3.5m dredged ship access channel Around 120 to 140 acres of storage hardstanding What shareholders will most definitely not see is anything resembling the port image that is on the front page of the current MPL website, or in the video made of the proposed port development, or in the Arden Partners Note or IPO documentation, since something similar to that would cost around £110m in management's opinion, and as you know very well MPL has raised only £150m, so sadly they have had to hugely cut the specification according to their cloth, despite probably shaving some £25m of cost off the original budget by heavily scaling back the terminal specification drawn out of management last week. Shareholder dissatisfaction/Formal Complaints should be forwarded to the FCA and London stock Exchange AIM Regulator. Our detailed list of serious complaints, diligently compiled over the last two years, of which many were made known at the time to the Nomad, is now on its way. In any reputable company, the executive management would not have lasted 12 months in the job, never mind 7 years! AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: Firstly, apologies for the long post. Interestingly, James Sutcliffe currently markets himself as a Business Transformation Non Executive Director in the Ports Sector. 'As a natural leader he is happy to represent major business and handle media and difficult situations diplomatically. As a Board Director he is particularly focused on improving Corporate Governance, effective financial reporting and achieving business strategies within the companies he works for.' How's that working out for SPL/MPL shareholders? With the share-price having lost 97% of its value since James Sutcliffe joined the board pre IPO, and the company massively diluting shareholders in November 2016 by raising another £37m of funds at an eye-watering 96% discount to the IPO price to 'finance'(and some would use that word in its loosest possible sense), the completion of the construction of a small, shallow water Port Terminal asset, to the Boards 'preferred' specification, James Sutcliffe's industry experience and expertise is clearly proving of huge value to shareholders in looking after their investment interests. Shareholders were told the reason for the additional £37 million of funds was to complete the build out of the Port Terminal to the 'preferred' specification of the Directors. Consequently, it would have been ENTIRELY REASONABLE for shareholders to assume that a request for further massive additional funds totalling around 55% of that raised at IPO together with the £49m of bank debt also raised for the project, would have resulted in the Directors 'preferred' specification delivering a higher specification to that contained in the IPO documentation and extremely detailed 2013 Arden Partners BUY Note and, what went out in the Tender Documentation to secure bids from the contractor/s they selected to approach to build the Port Terminal. In easy to understand non sector specialist terms, what shareholders originally were sold at IPO was a 'BMW 5 series' specification small port. The Directors then said in October 2016 Shareholders Placing and Open Offer documents, that we are not in any way cash strapped but by providing us with another £37m, we would be able to complete the construction to our 'preferred' specification - so shareholders were in effect being asked to now fund a BMW M5 standard Port terminal, the Directors preferred specification. The reality of the shameless revised port terminal specification drawn out under questioning by those in attendance at last weeks meeting(i understand some II's may have been made aware of this news some weeks ago, without necessarily understanding its full implications on their investment imho), is that shareholders were clearly misled in the October 2016 additional fund raise. Since they will not now be getting a shiny new BMW M5 Port Terminal, nor even a BMW 5 Series model, but if they are lucky a bog standard 1 Series Bread Van model with a price tag of TWO BMW M5's after taking in the impact of the bank debt. I have spoken at length to James Sutcliffe twice in the last three years by telephone, and on each occasion, i was telling him facts about the build out at Karanja(or lack of it!), he should have known about but was completely unaware of. Also, i suggested he speaks to the NOMAD because SPL/MPL has issued RNS statements( i provided examples), that evidence gathered by shareholders often at some considerable financial cost(hiring light aircraft to take photos over the site) have proved, and i'll be generous, to be wildly inaccurate at best, although the less charitable might consider 'wilful deception' to be a more accurate description. The situation with regard to the accuracy of the Official Market Statements has clearly not improved because if the NOMAD had travelled to India(which i understand they did late last year) to work with management to prepare the Documentation for the Shareholders Circular for the 31 October 2016 Placing and Open Offer, then at the very least, they should have checked that what management were claiming and went in that documentation(that the build out has continued without material interruption since October 2015) was in fact true. The NOMAD clearly failed to do this simple check, because if they had carried out some basic due diligence, they would have discovered that NO Land reclamation work had been carried out during the four months since the mid June 2016 update, when the Market was given news that 75 acres were now reclaimed. As a consequence, the expected build out progress targets that went into the Shareholders Circular were not only many multiples of the pace of progress previously achieved, but in fact were a work of complete fiction because NO reclamation work was actually going on, and by the Company's own written and photographic updates would not commence again until Jan 2017. June 2016 - company state 75 acres of land reclaimed Oct 2016 - company say work has continued without material interruption since Oct 2015. And as a consequence state the following expected progress targets in the documentation to raise £37m of additional funds: OUTLOOK - 'the Directors believe that the Company has sufficient resources to finance the continued construction of the Facility, WITHOUT DELAY, through to the end of the first quarter of 2017' By the end of January 2017 the Company expects to have: • completed the dredging requirement; • reclaimed 70 per cent. of the land(140 acres); and • constructed two berths, one of which will be capable of receiving vessels. 'By the end of the first quarter of 2017 the Company expects to have: • reclaimed 90 per cent. of the land; (180 acres) • constructed four berths, three of which will be capable of receiving vessels; and • entered into commercial agreements with end users.' Indeed, such was the Directors confidence that the build out was on track they stated in the Shareholders Fund Raising Circular (just two months from year end)that: '...the Directors expect that the Facility will be capable of receiving vessels by the end of this year(2016)....' Using information subsequently provided by the Company/Nomad, a comparison of the statements made above with reality, make sobering reading: Land Reclamation: June 2016 - 75 acres of land reclaimed Jan 2017 - expects to have reclaimed 140 acres - actual result 75 acres(ZERO progress for 6 months because NO land reclamation had been carried out since June 2016 - an easily verifiable fact that the Nomad could have checked in October 2016 when preparing the fund raising circular) Mar 2017 - expected to have reclaimed 180 acres - actual result 79 acres( 4 acres in 9 months!) Piling/Berths June 2016 - 58 piles(65m) via written update Sept 2016 - 100 piles (100m) via written update Jan 2017 - 68 piles (80m) via website photo update (clearly they overstated Sept position) Around 10 jetty piles were driven between June and Sept 2016, and then work stopped until Jan 2017, against the target of the completion of the construction of two berths! Land reclaimed March 2017 - 79 acres (against target of 180 acres) Apparently, despite claiming to have worked continuously without material interruption, during the last 9 months they achieved the grand total of just 5% of the progress expected in the circular to raise an additional £37m of funds! Can't wait to see the end of 2016 cash position and bank debt left to draw down - we should see that no later than the Prelims - it should make fascinating reading, since hardly any work on site occurred in H2/2016. A Google Earth image update for the end of Feb 2017, reveals just 104 jetty piles laid/ around 100m of progress, against a target of four berths complete by the end of Mar 2017. We calculate, if the progress achieved since Jan 2017 is maintained it would suggest the heavily scaled back 400m of jetty will still not see piling completed before H2/2018 at the earliest and, this assumes work through the next two monsoon seasons is maintained at the same rate of progress as during the current dry season, something that has not remotely been the case since construction eventually got started some three years ago, after four years of delays securing the necessary approvals. Some further thoughts: Contrary to what the Board was claiming, I posted on the SPL thread immediately after reading and discussing with industry colleagues, the 31 October 2016 Shareholders Circular to raise an additional £37m of funds: 'It would not suprise me, that for around £150m, all shareholders will see before the money again runs out, is around 300m-400m of berths with 4.5m of water availability, and around 75-100 acres of reclaimed land - something that could probably be built today to a very high spec for £40-50m.' The passage of time and news of the revised terminal specification suggests, this is likely to prove very close to what shareholders may see at best - along with its dire shareholder investment implications. MPL shareholders may be aware that Singapore has one of the three largest deep sea container ports in the world(currently three times the size of all the JNPT terminals combined). The port of Singapore has been enlarging its Port land area for decades and their current land reclamation costs are around US$25/sqm - US$100,000/acre. If Singapore can reclaim 200 acres of coastal land for around £25m today(including buying in the sand land fill material) - how come SPL need £150m to: Reclaim what will now be much less than 200 acres, and Construct a 400m shallow water piled jetty to handle barges and small coasters, and Provide basic port infrastructure facilities and cargo handling equipment. This strongly suggests(not for the first time) the MPL executive management are at best breathtakingly incompetent and totally out of their depth to a level that simply beggars belief. It also brings into question what due diligence the Nomad routinely carry's out to check the accuracy of the content of the statements issued to the market; in particular the Oct 2016 Fund Raising Documentation. As i understand it, the person responsible at the Nomad for the MPL account has no shipping/ports sector professional qualifications or operational experience and, only very limited industry knowledge, if my judgement of the numerous telephone discussions i've had with him are a reliable guide. Also, he seemed to find it highly amusing(before quickly correcting himself), that one PI i know, who lost £3m in the Globo AIM fraud, as a result of relying on Grant Thornton(MPL's auditors), allegedly checking and being satisfied that Globo had £100m of cash in the bank, only for the market to find out a short while afterwards, that the figure was in fact barely £100 not £100m, as a result of criminal activity on an industrial scale by the CEO, who turned out to be nothing more than a first class villain! Financially, as previously stated, the cash burn for this port development project was making very little sense. Following the £37m fund raise and shocking news of the considerably scaled down terminal specification for the project, it now makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever. AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: It is simply extraordinary, considering the company has now raised in excess of £150m in equity finance and debt, that the new Head of Finance's role is not even considered worthy of a Board position, and is being carried out by someone based outside the country. While a relatively callow youth, with no senior management Port Industry experience and, who has had operational responsibility for the appalling debacle that is the three and a half year to date, Karanja Port build out, has been promoted to the Board. Arden Partners in the 13 December 2013 Note rated MPL as a BUY with a target price of 175p, stating the building of Karanja 'was in' the then current price of 73p 'for free'! So it was interesting to note, that in October 2016 Shareholders Circular, Arden Partners had agreed to, amongst other things, introduce the Company to potential Placees at 10p per share, in return for a commission fee of £177,916.60 on completion of the Transaction. It was also interesting to note that in the October 2016 Capital Raise - the only MPL Director with hands on port development consultancy and construction experience, elected to take no part in the Placing, refusing to add a single share to his existing long term holding of ZERO shares! After trousering more than £250k in Fees since 2010, while the company he has overseen on behalf of shareholders, experienced an eye-watering 97% fall in the share-price since IPO, it would appear his investment judgement on port development projects is impeccable, particularly those where he is actively involved - equity investors and shareholders clearly could learn from the man! Consequently, it was a little surprising that the highly acclaimed fund managers at L&G and M&G did not take that particular Non exec's lead and refuse to throw anymore of their clients cash at this 'port development venture'(and i use that phrase in its loosest possible sense). L&G increased to 69.9m shares (18.2%) M&G increased to 60.6m shares (15.8%) With the 1000m of quay and 200 acres of land, Arden Partners in their Note dated 13 December 2013, stated that the terminal was capable, according to management, of handling an 8.0 million tonne cargo throughput per year. In practice, this would only be possible if a very high percentage of the cargo throughout were roll on roll off. Without ro-ro cargo there is no chance whatsoever of that throughput forecast being achieved. In fact, for a mix of mainly break bulk and containers( the target market), Karanja would do very well to achieve 4.0 million tonnes throughout per year. By way of comparison the Port of Tilbury with 1,120 acres of storage and 60 deep draft berths, last year handled around 12 million tonnes, and Tilbury has 4 daily short sea ro-ro/container services, and routinely sees 20 to 30 large ship movements per weekday. Should, the completed quay length at Karanja fall well short of the 1000m length in the GA plan(i bet my reputation it will, and by a very considerable amount ), the annual cargo throughput will be proportionately reduced. Considering the now £49m bank debt has a current 13.5% annual interest payment, this means an annual interest bill of £6.2m. It is worth noting that the Port of Dover(Britain's largest short sea port) made a profit of circa £3m last year. It is my view that Karanja will never see a 200 acre/1000m port development and is probably 18 months to two years away at best, from seeing something even HALF of that specification. As a consequence, it should prove a highly sobering experience for shareholders to note the following programme of bank debt principle and interest payments that have now stated to fall due: As at 31 December 2015, the Group's non-derivative financial liabilities have contractual maturities (and interest payments) as summarised below: Payment falling due: Within 1 year: Interest payment of £4.6m Within 1 to 5 years: Principle and Interest payments of £35.8m Following 5 years: Principle and Interest payments of £49.4m Since the borrowings are secured by the hypothecation of the port facility and pledge of its shares, in the view of this poster with 30 years senior level industry experience, it is a 100% probability, like Night following day, that the banks will take over the Port at some time in the next 18 months to three years. I strongly suspect a certain gentleman among the senior management is fully aware of this, and that all shareholders will see during the intervening period is the same slow rate of progress/ultra high cash burn of the past, until the Banks finally call time and step in. At which point, i would also bet serious money, that the market value of the 'port asset' at Karanja at that point in time would still be well below the outstanding debt principle. AIMHO/DYOR
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