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Mercantile Port LSE:MPL London Ordinary Share GG00B53M7D91 ORD NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -0.02p -0.87% 2.28p 739,375 16:35:19
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2.30p 2.60p 2.45p 2.45p 2.45p
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Industrial Transportation -3.41 -0.80 9.4

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Date Time Title Posts
04/12/201811:12Mercantile Ports and Logistics 1,338
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 (MPL) Top Chat Posts

DateSubject
10/12/2018
08:20
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 2.30p.
Mercantile Port has a 4 week average price of 1.85p and a 12 week average price of 1.75p.
The 1 year high share price is 8.25p while the 1 year low share price is currently 1.75p.
There are currently 414,017,699 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 914,522 shares. The market capitalisation of Mercantile Port is £9,439,603.54.
20/11/2018
14:43
mount teide: For the record have received an email today from the disgruntled former employee who has seen Oliwin's first Advfn post - in it he strongly speculates as to who the writer is - the name given will come as no surprise to many here or us. Indeed, from the perspective of a professional challenge, it's a little disappointing on conducting a forensic analysis of the post, that Oliwin failed to employ even a little sophistication by attempting to hide behind some 'new investor' nonsense. By revealing a very detailed understanding of over 3 years of our posts and research - its obvious that the poster is far from the 'new investor' they claim to be. Additionally, readers will note the writer has made no attempt whatsoever to explain the management's 100% success rate over the last 9 years of failing to deliver against a single financial or operational target used to support the raising of £135 million to date or, more importantly produce any plausible explanation for how most of that cash has been spent. 'You keep mentioning your group's collective experience- Why is that relevant? Reading between the lines, were you angling for a job with MPL and they turned you down?' You and many readers are clearly not aware that i was approached some 2.5 years ago by a group of PI's/II's with large shareholdings in the company to replace the CEO, who understandably, they had lost all confidence in as a result of being found to be a proven liar, never mind someone with no professional experience whatsoever of the industry. I immediately turned them down on the grounds i was happily retired but promised to help in any other way i could. Post that meeting, virtually all of the PI's in attendance with large holdings have since sold, all at a considerable loss. AIOHO/DYOR ps in his podcast yesterday - the Sheriff of AIM, like the Taj Mahal white gloved butler considers this latest Placing and Open Offer as a last throw of the dice desperation measure to keep the lights on and the 9 year and counting management gravy train running a little longer. The fool Oliwin asked where our knowledge of management's near £3m of expenses to date since IPO came from - Oliwin, TRY A WILD GUESS LIKE MPL's OWN PUBLISHED ACCOUNTS! That is, up until 2 years ago when, after many shareholders pointed out the scandalous expenditure, management elected to stop separating out it's reporting in the accounts! Oliwin - if you carried out any research worthy of the name you would find that while the previous two NEDS may have previously held positions in the Industry, they personally held NO shipping or ports industry professional qualifications whatsoever - having to rely on others for that professional expertise or in the case of James Sutcliffe - pay for it. Consequently, with the Mumbai Mamba and them at the help aided and abetted by the chuckle brothers 'management' team it was no surprise that they collectively presided over a 99.2% destruction of the share-price since IPO for what is a simple real estate project. Also you might like to explain how after 'spending' £135m to reclaim 90 acres and part complete 50 acres of that for open storage, how the management has the gall to claim that if the market gives them just another £27m they will have enough to complete the entire 200 acre site! They said the exact same thing in October 2016 when attempting to raise another £37m! With regard to the latest shareholders circular, I suggest you speak to the management of the JNPT Container Terminal because the last time we spoke to them, unlike the clueless MPL management, they see no prospect whatsoever of their port providing Karanja with spillover container business; as since the opening of their new 225 acre container terminal earlier this year (built in just 2.25 years), the huge additional storage capacity has eliminated all the previous congestion issues.
16/11/2018
21:04
mount teide: A £30m placing at a 99.2% discount to the IPO price for a real estate development ! What a dilution since IPO - The shysters have turned 40 million shares into nearly 2 BILLION! A total of £140m raised at an average share price of 7p. So at 2p the market cap will now be £40m Would estimate the value of the work completed to date at £30m with £30m of loan drawn. Can't wait to see if L&G and M&G have again participated - must phone them next week! This is beyond surreal - anyone reading the last placing document and comparing it's contents with what has happened since (all predicted here), would shake their heads in complete disbelief at today's announcement and the complete idiots who have supported it.
23/10/2018
22:43
mount teide: The Mumbai Mamba - Nikhil Gandhi Ignore him at your investment peril - his involvement is potentially lethal to any investment! New or prospective shareholders may be unaware that highly respected Sunny Varkey, the billionaire education entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Unesco Goodwill Ambassador served 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. And that the matter is now under investigation by the Serious Crime Branch of India's Special Fraud Office following a formal complaint from a livid Sunny, who reports suggest is still incandescent with rage at the subsequent collapse of Everonn, after his accountants found the company's books to be a work of fiction and the accounts manipulated. A Times of India journalist back in 2008 wrote: 'There are plenty of question marks around Nikhil Gandhi. Why are investors willing to back him when he’s got precious little to show in terms of revenues or assets on the ground? Why has he taken over three fledgling companies that have little by way of operations, but whose stock prices have soared in a bear market? How can these companies with no fundamentals worth writing about shoot through the roof in a bearish market?' Despite no revenue, Horizon Infrastructure's share-price soared nearly 30 fold in a matter of months, from Rs68 to Rs1,951 between January 25, 2008 and May 5, 2008. The National Stock Exchange did't like what it had seen, and following a short investigation, suspended trading in the company for almost 8 years. Then in September 2009, Sebi, the Market regulator, charged officials of a second of these companies KLG Capital Services with insider trading shortly after the share-price has risen 8 fold in a few months and, barred it from the stock market. JL Capital, the third company went up a highly suspicious 11 fold in a similar timeframe. Skil Group - the company that these three companies were merged into, saw its share-price rocket from Rs75 to Rs2000 in a matter of months in 2008 during a global market crash, but like MPL, it has since completely collapsed by more than 98%. At first sight, Mercantile's extraordinary, £25k a month travelling and hotel expenses for the last 8 years seem totally implausible, surely there must be some mistake? However, as David Bellamy the ex head of stockbroker Brewin Dolphin’s Leicester office found out when he visited Mumbai to discuss his BD Fund and personal shareholding in Mercantile, Nikhil Gandhi certainly likes the finer things in life, particularly, when someone else is paying. I understand Nikhil arranged for them to meet at his exclusive Private Room at the magnificent Taj Mahal, Mumbai's top Luxury Hotel, for a full, white glove, butler service, breakfast business meeting(a private room with butler costs up to £1,000 a day).
28/9/2018
11:14
pj 1: old punter - 30 Aug 2017 - 16:46:52 - 807 of 1260 Mercantile Ports and Logistics - MPL it is very interesting that virtually all the contributors to these articles are either old bears or failed holders. I have alsolost a lot on this share but from past experience have learned that bad ones can turned right, in fact I had one stock recently which went down by 98% then I bought 100 times my holding back, the stock then recovered 11times so I finished up making a very large profit, the trouble with people who love the sound of their own views are too arrogant to admit that they are not always right forever.Mt Tiede is obviously one of those. Give up you libel and admit that things do change =============================================================================== Lets deal with the fact old punter. I note you have never posted on any other thread? Share price when you first posted 30/8/2017 7.8p Share price as I type 2.5p I assume you are down a minimum of 71% on your investment in a modern state of the art Port that has yet to have any berths other than local fishing vessels, and is fast running out of other peoples money?
24/6/2018
21:17
mount teide: sophia1982 - How is it possible? Sadly because the II's invested here like the executive management have no experience of the highly specialised Ports and Shipping Industry - or hold any professional qualifications for these industries. The II's were led up the garden path by the two UK NED's (neither of whom held any Ports or shipping industry professional qualifications) before departing recently with nearly £400k each safely tucked away in their offshore bank accounts for doing sweet FA for shareholders for 7 years! The level of misrepresentation by the MPL executive management is truly breathtaking for a London Stock Exchange quoted company, and incredibly continues to plumb new depths despite a catalogue of complaints to the Nomad. Until our complaint alleging Fraud by Misrepresentation forced the Nomad to get it removed, the MPL website had for 7 years, the following introduction describing 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 also told they were going to get when they paid 250p a share back in October 2010, to enable the company to raise £73m to 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 all weather terminal. Then, some 7 years post IPO, after endlessly telling shareholders the company were not in anyway cash strapped, the company asked the market to put their hand in their pockets for another £37m at an eye-watering 96% discount to the IPO share-price, in order to implement 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 is: No 1,000m All weather Quay No ship to shore cranes because the all weather quay has been replaced by a light weight jetty 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 360m lightweight Jetty - mostly unusable during the monsoon season Small mobile jetty cranes A 3.5m dredged ship access channel Around 90 acres of land reclamation for storage. What shareholders will not is anything resembling the port image that was displayed on the front page of the MPL website, or in the video made of the proposed port development, or in the Arden Partners Note, or the IPO documentation. Shareholder dissatisfaction/Formal Complaints should be forwarded to the FCA and London stock Exchange AIM Regulator. In any reputable company, the executive management would not have lasted 12 months in the job, never mind 8 years! They must be delighted to have such a wonderful group of mugs as II shareholders! AIOHO/DYOR
20/6/2018
14:51
mount teide: As a ITD Cementation shareholder i wrote to ITD on three occasions in late 2016 and during 2017 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 huge additional revenue from the project over and above 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://www.itdcem.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06-1.jpg 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 in addition to some 15,000 TEU of containers! 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 throughput capacity is more than twice that of Karanja at 1.4m TEU's. It was completed in early 2017 some 3 months ahead of schedule by ITD - 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, around 90 acres of reclaimed land, strengthened to a specification a small fraction of that at Adani - £148m. A good example of why the MPL share-price has fallen from 250p to 2.2p for a project that has £12.5m per annum bank debt capital and interest payments now running; with no revenue and less than half the land reclamation work completed. AIOHO/DYOR
29/12/2017
12:37
mount teide: My heartiest thanks to the utterly mendacious management of MPL. In 2016, after establishing beyond all reasonable doubt the management had repeatedly lied via verbal and written statements i, along with two industry colleagues elected to take a hefty loss and placed the proceeds into a quoted company operating in the mobile advertising sector, which has since been named AIM Company of the year in its sector for 2017. Delighted to report the returns have been spectacular, with Taptica's share-price finishing 2017 at an all-time high in a sector with a huge flood tide behind it - the mobile ad sector has quadrupled in size over the last 10 years and is forecast to continue growing in excess of 20% per annum through to 2022. In MPL's share-price terms the Taptica investment is now equivalent to £1.33, with some analysts forecasting MPL's IPO share-price of £2.50 for 2018. Sadly, those taken in by your lies now need a 19 bagger here just to match our Taptica investment performance to date! So certain are we of MPL being a commercial failure because of the appalling behaviour of the management, we are seriously considering breaking a habit of a lifetime and going short MPL in 2018 but, would prefer to see a few more token management buys before we do - to push the share price up so we can maximise our returns.
29/8/2017
08:04
mount teide: Fraud can catch anyone out - ask probably the best fund manger in the city over the last two decades Anthony Bolton, who twice invested in foreign based companies when running his hugely successful Fidelity Special Situations Fund only to find years later neither company actually existed. The site photos were either fake or the management had been lying repeatedly via company statements and verbal communication on an industrial scale - further research confirmed the photos were not fake. Considering the enormous commercial success of the JNPT container terminals, the commercial prospects for a specialist break bulk/general cargo /ro-ro terminal equivalent on the Uran Peninsula is extremely sound - as its inevitable most of the 60m tonnes of cargo annually handled through Mumbai's Indira terminals will eventually migrate to the Uran Peninsula WHEN, a Port operator develops the terminal infrastructure and approach channel depths to attract the ship owners and managers currently operating dozens of liner services to the 30 odd Indira Harbour Terminals. Back in 2014, at an 80% discount to the IPO price, although an investment in MPL had the potential to make a good return, it still carried considerable risk, should the inexperienced executive management, take the wrong decision as to the Terminal's specification, optimum use and target traffic. I posted at the outset, that the professional experience of the SPL management left a lot to be desired but, we were prepared to overlook this major red flag on the basis that; The port design and build out were being carried out by reputable marine engineering organisations, that were known to us - Royal Haskoning and ITD Cementation (Royal Haskoning has since disappeared without trace along with their design to be replaced by a low build cost, poorly designed, draft restricted, high operating cost coaster and barge terminal) There was a £57m fixed price contract for the land reclamation, quay construction, approach channel and harbour dredging - the overwhelming majority of the build costs.( build cost to date is £96m for not even 50% completion of the terminal) The port was strategically located from a road, sea and rail perspective to benefit from the inevitable migration of general cargo/ro-ro/break bulk cargoes from the old Indira Harbour terminals to the Uran Peninsula over the decades ahead. (remains the case) We felt, provided: The inexperienced management did nothing more than ensure Royal Haskoning's port design specification and dredging plans for the access channel and berth pocket were adhered to. (they failed to do this, changing the terminal specification to a much lower spec and then having the gall to suggest it would cost at least 40% more to build) The port construction timetable kept on or close to schedule and budget, which should have included a 15% contingency allowance for general cost overruns. (MPL is now in year 5 of construction and still not yet reclaimed 50% of the 200 acres of land) The experienced NEDS did their job and provided quality oversight. (with the share price falling 97% since IPO and an emergency cash raise at a 96% discount to the IPO price - clearly, their huge industry experience and contribution has served shareholders extremely well, as they saunter off into the sunset with £750k of shareholders funds collectively in their pockets) An experienced Ports Sector professional was appointed to run the terminal (shareholders should not hold their breath) Then this new port development would have good prospects of becoming a commercial success - and offer a potentially attractive risk/reward investment at a share-price in the 50p-60p region. Unfortunately, following commencement of the build out, the passage of time slowly revealed the executive management had failed completely to carry out its responsibilities with respect to managing the port development project in a professional and commercial manner. Cash burn - we could not and still cannot in any way reconcile the physical progress made with the totally implausible level of cash burn - it simply makes no sense.(which is why no port operator was prepared to offer an alternative route to the massive shareholder dilution of the £37m cash raise at a 96% discount to the IPO price, by taking a financial interest in the project). Construction timetable - every construction progress target set by management subsequently proved to be a work of fiction. Materially important claims were made by management in RNS that were subsequently shown to be untrue - laughably, in some instances by subsequent photographic and written statements unwittingly provided by the clueless, hugely incompetent executive management. (why did the NEDS let them do this? - since both NED's have done a runner after pocketing £750k between them during the last 7 years for doing lord knows what, shareholders will probably now never know!) The executive chairman having a recent history of settling one high level investigation by regulatory authorities for insider dealing via an out of court settlement made highly concerning reading. Then to be the subject of writs for allegedly siphoning off tens of £millions of shareholders funds out of a company he had executive responsibility for, into companies owned by him and his family made extremely disturbing reading, considering our inability to reconcile the very high level of cash burn in MPL with the shocking pace of construction progress. Once this news became public knowledge, together with the fact Gandhi failed to step down immediately to clear his name, in our opinion, this alone made the company completely un-investible. AIOHO/DYOR
27/7/2017
20:31
mount teide: SPL/MPL - another example of why it's important for investors to NEVER again trust a management once their credibility has been seriously called into question, never mind their honesty. Back in JAN 2013 - after SPL's share price had fallen over 60% some 2.5 years post IPO, and well past the date white collar criminal Executive CHAIRMAN Nikhil Gandhi told shareholders to expect first revenues from the Port Facility, the management were finally forced to COME CLEAN and admit the COMPANY WAS STILL YET TO SECURE THE VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONSENTS TO ENABLE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PORT TO BEGIN - an SPL shareholder who shall remain nameless made the following post(my comments with the benefit of some further hindsight are in brackets): Ten reasons to invest in SKIL Ports & Logistics? 1. Approx 140p a share cash (80% rupee/20% sterling). Share price is 106p. Low burn rate at the moment (FAMOUS LAST WORDS!) 2. Minutes confirming final approval to commence construction expected very soon. Days not weeks? (IT WOULD BE ANOTHER TWO YEARS BEFORE THE FIRST AGGREGATE TRUCK WAS DRIVEN ONTO THE SITE TO COMMENCE LAND RECLAMATION WORK) 3. Board including two brits with shipping pedigree (ABP Ports CEO is one!) - (AND WHAT A MARVELLOUS JOB OF OVERSIGHT THEY HAVE DONE FOR £300K AND COUNTING OF SHAREHOLDERS FUNDS EACH!) 4. SKIL have done this before, which gives them an edge. Pipavav is listed on the Indian stockmarket. Nikhil Gandhi is very well connected. The new port project looks much less complicated - thus the quick construction. (HALL & OATES SAID - SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID - HOW RIGHT THEY WERE!) 5. Working 24/7, construction should be finished by end of 2013 and generating income by the end of the summer. Live streaming of progress likely to be available on their webite by March. (OH DEAR! - SEE POINT 4 - BIZARRELY, SHAREHOLDERS HIRED LIGHT AIRCRAFT FLYING OVER THE SITE FAILED TO PICK ANY OF THIS UP) 6. The nearest port (JNPT) is at 110% capacity so demand is clearly there locally.Ports up and down the West Coast are full of ships awaiting entry into Mumbai. (JNPT RESPONDED BY DOUBLING THE CAPACITY OF THE CONTAINER PORT BEFORE THE LITTLE BARGE AND COASTER TERMINAL AT KARANJA IS EVEN HALF BUILT!) 7. When launched at 250p in 2010, Cenkos gave a price target of 750p - has this investment case changed at all? ( UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE DECADE! - AT 4P THE CURRENT MARKET CAP IS £16M - CENKOS'S 'PRESCIENT' PRICE TARGET WOULD BE EQUIVALENT TODAY TO A MARKET CAP OF £3bn, or £270m pre dilution - BOTH ARE UTTERLY RIDICULOUS), 8. India has only 8% of India's port capacity but both economies still growing so long term demand for port capacity looks obvious. (READS LIKE ANOTHER SLICK, CAREFULLY CRAFTED MPL RNS!) 9. Indian government plan to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure from 2012-2017. No sign of this yet but in the first few weeks of 2013,we have seen a commitment - both nationally and locally to get things moving. (VERY LITTLE SIGN OF IT 5 YEARS LATER - MOST INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN FUNDED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR) 10. A small free float so any good news and there is a chance of a very sharp rally as investors wake up to the distressed valuation and market makers are caught short of stock. (FUNNILY ENOUGH IN THE 7 YEARS SINCE IPO, THE LAST THING MM'S HAVE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT IS FINDING THEMSELVES SHORT OF STOCK!) NOW WE GET TO THE INTERESTING BIT - IF ONLY THIS INVESTOR HAD ACTED ON HIS OWN JUDGEMENT/OBSERVATIONS/COMMENTS: To counter this bull case, debt will be required (£40m?) to finish the job. (£48M IN FACT - OF WHICH £17M PLUS £24M OF SHAREHOLDERS CASH DISAPPEARED INTO THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT ETHER BEFORE A SINGLE AGGREGATE TRUCK HAD SET A WHEEL ON THE SITE TO BE DEVELOPED!) I don't see a problem here but it does add to uncertainty and makes the investment speculative. (A VISIT TO SUPERSAVERS MAY BE IN ORDER BECAUSE TO MOST INVESTORS AND THE FRAUD SQUAD A £17M/LOAN + £24M IN CASH DISAPPEARING BEFORE ANY WORK ON SITE BEGAN IS THE LAST THING PROFESSIONAL INVESTORS IN THE PORTS SECTOR WOULD EXPECT TO SEE FROM PROFESSIONAL PORT MANAGEMENT. Currency risk also a factor although I have seen predictions of a 10% rally in the rupee in 2013 so it might work in our favour. (CURRENCY RISK PROVED TO BE THE LEAST OF SHAREHOLDERS WORRIES AT THE RATE THIS LOT WERE BURNING THROUGH IT!) The crebility of management has also been damaged by the long delays - can they really still build the port so quickly and to budget? Will they keep investors better informed going forward? (WHY OH WHY DID YOU NOT ACT ON YOUR EXCELLENT OBSERVATIONS, AFTER IT BECAME OBVIOUS WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF POSTING THESE COMMENTS THAT NOTHING HAD CHANGED!) For readers information, following this post, it was almost two years to the day and after circa £44m of cash 'burn' and a pack of lies masquerading as RNS statements THROUGHOUT 2014, before a truck finally dumped the first AGGREGATE load on the foreshore at Karanja! AND THEN THE REAL PROBLEMS STARTED FOR SHAREHOLDERS! The rest as they say is HISTORY - yet after all this, it simply beggared belief that the clueless, due diligence and common sense averse II's WOULD STUN PORT AND SHIPPING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS, BY THROWING ANOTHER £30m OF THEIR INVESTORS RETIREMENT FUNDS ONTO THE RAGING, COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL KARANJA BONFIRE. AIMHO/DYOR
23/4/2017
15:54
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
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