From Polish shale to tech

AIM-listed energy company 3Legs Resources has resurrected itself from liquidation by shaking up its board and announced a £500,000 pound ($A1 million) raising with an eye to changing its investment policy to life sciences.
From Polish shale to tech From Polish shale to tech From Polish shale to tech From Polish shale to tech From Polish shale to tech

Having backed out of three Polish shale gas concessions last September, the company has gone through nothing short of a revolution these past few months, with directors David Bremner, Richard Hills and Rod Perry retiring on December 31.

Then on January 7 3Legs announced that it would, "in the absence of a suitable alternative course of action, put itself into a solvent liquidation as soon as possible and in any event by March 31 2015, to be followed by a final distribution to be made at the conclusion of the liquidation".

But by January 27 a resurrection was at hand, with the company announcing a subscription to raise &pound800,460 by issuing over 345 million ordinary shares at 0.232p/share and proposed what many a hard rock and hydrocarbon junior have done over the past 24 months: move into tech.

An extraordinary general meeting was held on February 13 on the Isle of Man - whose flag of three legs kicking outward is reflected in the company's name - to progress the revolution further.

This week, the company announced the appointment of Jim Mellon and Greg Bailey to the board and proposed to change its current investing policy to focus on the life sciences sector.

"The board proposes to invest in and/or acquire companies within the technology sector or within the resources sector, particularly where a resource can be brought into production through the application of modern technologies," 3Legts said.

It will initially focus on North America, Asia and Europe but 3Legs is open to other jurisdictions.

It will seek, where appropriate, to invest in businesses where it may influence the business at a board level, add their expertise to the management of the business and utilise their industry relationships and access to finance.

"The company's interests in a proposed investment and/or acquisition may range from a minority position to full ownership and may comprise one investment or multiple investments," 3Legs said.

The proposed investments may be in either quoted or unquoted companies; be made by direct acquisitions or farm-ins; and may be in companies, partnerships, earn-in joint ventures, debt or other loan structures, joint ventures or direct or indirect interests in assets or projects.

The 3Legs board was also open to investments where intrinsic value could be achieved from the restructuring of investments or merger of complementary businesses.

"The board expects that investments will typically be held for the medium to long term, although short term disposal of assets cannot be ruled out if there is an opportunity to generate an attractive return for shareholders," 3Legs said.

"The board will place no minimum or maximum limit on the length of time that any investment may be held.'

Nor is there a limit on the number of projects into which 3Legs may invest. Its financial resources may be invested in a number of propositions or in just one investment, which may be deemed to be a reverse takeover under the AIM rules.

Any transaction constituting a reverse takeover under AIM rules will also require shareholder approval.

Getting to know the new directors

Mellon worked in Asia and the US in two fund management companies, GT Management and Thornton Management (Asia) Limited, before establishing his own business in 1991 which now has two components: a listed fund management company, Charlemagne Capital; and an Asian investment group, Regent Pacific Group.

He is also a controlling shareholder and a director of Manx Financial Group, an Isle of Man-based bank and a controlling shareholder of Webis Holdings. He is also a co-founder of UraMin and Red Dragon Resources, both mining groups.

Bailey is an investor and entrepreneur in the biomedical sector having spent time previously as an investment banker and a physician.

He has arranged and participated in multiple financings, M&A transactions, and taken a number of companies public. He co-founded and is managing partner of MediqVentures and the executive chairman of Portage Biotech.