SINGAPORE (July 10): Shares amounting to a 15% stake in Alliance Mineral Assets (AMA), whose deemed owners are CEO Tjandra Pramoko and his wife Suen Sze Man, had been seized on June 30 on a Singapore court order, said the company on Monday before the market opening.
According to court documents, these 72.3 million shares were seized as part of a claim made by Singapore businessman Jonathan Lim Keng Hock (photo).
In an exclusive interview with The Edge Singapore on Sunday, Lim said he gave A$7 million ($7.4 million) to Pramoko and Suen back in 2009 in exchange for a 50% stake in Living Waters Mining (Australia) (LWMA), an entity the couple created to own the mining assets that are now in AMA.
However, Lim claimed he found out a week before AMA’s IPO back in July 2014 that he wasn’t even listed as a shareholder in the prospectus. PrimePartners Corporate Finance was the issue manager, sponsor and placement agent for AMA’s listing.
Since then, Lim said he has been trying to claim his rightful share back from Pramoko and Suen, who is also an executive director of AMA. At the time of listing, LWMA held around 40% of AMA, which was offered to the public at 23 cents per share.
On April 25, both parties, in the presence of retired judge Kan Ting Chiu, reached an agreement following a mediation process. Under terms of the settlement, LWMA was to transfer nearly 46.1 million shares to Lim. LWMA also had to pay Lim $7 million by May 31, 2017.
The April 25 agreement also had a put and strike option. If AMA shares did not hit 50 cents six months after the agreement date, which is Oct 24 2017, Pramoko and LWMA would have to pay Lim the sum equivalent to the difference between the volume weighted average price of the seven days prior the date, and 50 cents.
But if shares of AMA rose above 50 cents by Oct 24 2017, Pramoko would not have to make further payment. As security for Lim, the court ordered the injunction of another 46.1 million shares.
On June 15, the 46.1 million shares, or 9.6% of the company, were transferred from LWMA to Lim in an off-market transaction worth $14.7 million, or 32 cents per share.
This was subsequently disclosed by AMA in a Singapore Exchange filing on June 21.
But the filing again made no mention that the off-market transaction was part of the April 25 court settlement.
Finally, when Lim did not receive the $7 million cash portion of the settlement by the May 31 deadline, a writ of seizure was made on June 21 to seize AMA shares under LWMA. The shares were held under a nominee shareholder entity called Raffles Nominee. The seizure was completed on June 30.
Lim told The Edge Singapore he launched the suit because he was unhappy Pramoko had delayed the repayment and also changed its terms unilaterally along the way. He claimed he wasn’t after control of AMA and dismissed suggestions he made his move only after AMA shares rose.
With 46.1 million AMA shares under LWMA already transferred to Lim, and another 46.1 million frozen, LWMA is left with only 72.3 million shares – which was seized by the court on June 30 when the $7 million payment was not made.
As at 12 noon, shares of AMA are trading 3 cents lower at 30 cents.
Based on this price, the 72.3 million shares are easily worth more than $20 million.
Year to date, shares of AMA have gained more than 200%.