opesopes prime fallout spreads further

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    OpesOpes Prime fallout spreads further
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    Fairstar Resources looks to have had its hostile takeover bid for Golden West Resources derailed, after Fairstar revealed that it had exposure to Opes Prime Stockbroking $1 billion collapse as the Opes Prime fallout continues to hit local firms.

    The gold and uranium explorer revealed that it was seeking advice on the impact on a portion of its shareholding in Golden West Resources after receivers were appointed to the Melbourne-based broker.

    Fairstar, which owns 33 per cent of Golden West after launching an ambitious seven-for-one all-scrip bid, added that it was also aware of a number of its own shareholders that hold their interests through Opes Prime.

    Fairstar has recently extended its offer for Golden West for April 11.

    Both Golden West and Fairstar companies went into trading halts simultaneously today.

    Golden West said 14.75 million of its shares were now registered in the name of Australian and New Zealand Banking Group.

    Last month Fairstar placed 12.5 million shares worth 20 cents each, some with a free option, in attempts to raise 2.5 million to fund "working capital requirements".

    According to media reports, Fairstar has been running out of money for some time. The company was expected to spend $500,000 in the first quarter of the 2008 calendar year, and borrowed $3.3 million in January to pay for its take-up in shares as part of a Golden West rights issue.

    Fairstar is the latest company to join the list of local firms that have revealed their exposure to the collapsed broker.

    Tricom: The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has cancelled off-market special crossings linked with struggling brokerage Tricom. Tricom has tried to recover about 40 million shares from collapsed broker Opes Prime, even though the company is in the hands of the receivers.

    Babcock & Brown Wind: Tricom was forced to cancel cross selling of 20 million of the company's shares held through an Opes Prime account.

    Everest Babcock: ASX has forced the cancellation of Tricom's cross selling of 10 million shares in the company.

    Hedley Leisure and Gaming Fund: On April 2, property group came out of a trading halt issued on March 28. The firm has announced that 10.8 million stapled securities sold on March 28 were sold on the instruction of Opes Prime’s receiver. Chief executive Tom Hedley -- who owns 61.9 per cent of the fund -- confirmed speculation that he had received a margin call regarding a margin loan of $8 million over 20,623,312 securities.

    Gindalbie Metals: The Perth-based iron ore explorer has been hit by revelations that substantial shareholder Melewar Steel Ventures held 6.2 per cent (32 million shares) of its 14.5 per cent stake in Gindalbie through an equity finance agreement with Opes Prime. Melewar lawyers, Slater and Gordon have confirmed that an injunction has been granted restricting the sale by Opes Prime's receiver ANZ of the shares it previously held in Gindalbie, and has been granted an injunction against the sale until 1600 AEDT April 10 2008.

    Pluton Resources: The company has emerged from a trading halt after it finished investigating the special crossing of 2.7 million Pluton shares at a 50 per cent discount to market value by Tricom.

    Also caught up in the Tricom cross selling cancellation are Arrow Energy, Wester Areas, Babcock Capital, Babcock & Brown Power, Babcock & Brown Capital, and India Equities Fund Limited.

    Destra Corporation: Digital media firm Destra Corporation has lost 10 per cent of its stake in takeover target Beyond International after it was revealed that the stake in Beyond was financed by a margin loan from Opes Prime with the Beyond shares used as security. Chief executive Domenic Carosa has seen his Destra shareholding shrink to just under two million shares from nearly 11 million shares.

    Hyro Limited: Digital Services company Hyro Limited has revealed that its director Bill Votaris has a margin loan facility with collapsed stockbroker Opes prime Group. The company said it is not in receipt of any notice of change in equitable or beneficial ownership of the relevant shares.

    ComTel Corporation Limited: Mobile and e-marketing firm, ComTel Corporation Limited has revealed that approximately 10.5 million fully paid ordinary shares have been affected by Opes Prime margin lending facilities. According to ComTel the shares represent a 7.9 per cent of the company's issued share capital.

    Ebet: A number of shareholders with over 56 million company shares under their control, about 25.8 per cent of the company's issued shares, are subject to equity finance contracts with Opes Prime.

    Aequs Securities: The Sydney broker has 4,052,666, or 11.22 per cent, of company shares held in security against loans through account with Opes Prime.

    Just Group: The possibly-hostile Solomon Lew takeover target relinquished 1.85 million shares at a heavy discount of $0.46 after a line were sold by Opes' receivers.

    Austin Group: The clothing wholesaler has delayed a shareholder vote on Opes Prime affiliate, Hawkswood Investments, to convert six million convertible notes in Austin Group into shares. The converted notes would lift Hawkswood's stake in Austin Group to just over 34 per cent.

    Ansearch: Online media firm, Ansearch said that Opes Prime receivers have disposed approximately 60 million shares, just over 10 per cent of ordinary shares, held by them in the firm. The trade includes the 35 million shares held by Ansearch director Dean Jones, under a margin loan agreement with Opes Prime. Earlier, the company emerged from a trading halt it had requested in the previous session.

    Jumbuck Entertainment: Mobile phone services provider said its director Paul Choiselat's privately owned investment banking business, Beconwood Securities, has a margin lending arrangement with Opes Prime. Jumbuck said the balance under the loan is approximately $1.3 million and involves about 3.5 million of its shares (7.3 per cent of the issued share capital) pledged as capital.

    Q Limited: The advertising firm that was demerged from Jumbuck in the 2004 fiscal year and is also affiliated with Destra revealed a substantial shareholder holds its stake in the company through a margin loan with Opes Prime. Q went into a trading halt on Tuesday.

    Solagran: The Melbourne-based biotech firm requested a trading halt on Tuesday, saying that a substantial shareholder has in dispute with the ANZ in relation to the ownership of the Solamind shareholding.

    BioProspect: The Brisbane-based biotech company went into a trading halt on Tuesday as it sought clarification from Opes and ANZ in regard to the position of the company's major shareholding block.

    Tandou: The Mildura-based agribusiness firm requested a trading halt on Tuesday pending the announcement on information from a significant shareholder, thought to be in relation to an Opes Prime transaction.

    Australian Institute of Property Management Ltd: About three per cent of the company, or about 10 million shares, were subject to a shareholder's equity finance contracts with Opes Prime. The company said that a board member was willing to purchase these shares.

    Bannerman Resources: The uranium miner's director Nathan McMahon has informed the company of margin lending arrangement with Opes Prime relating to 14.7 million ordinary company shares, or 10.2 per cent of the company.

    Citigold: The Charters Towers gold miner also revealed that one of its shareholders had exposure to Opes Prime. The company said that its is unaware how many shares were now under the control of Opes' receivers but it believed that it was around two per cent of the company's shares.

    Po Valley Energy: Director Byron Pirola holds a margin lending arrangement with Opes Prime with a balance of around $2 million against a security of 7.8 million company shares. Mr Pirola told the company that he had the capacity to repay the balance and redeem the shares, should there be a margin call on the loan.

    Ord River Resources: The gold and base metal explorer has informed the market that it had received a notice from Mandolin Pty Limited relating to its margin lending arrangement with Opes Prime.

    Conquest Mining: The West Australian mining firm has placed its securities in trading halt after the firm's managing director, John Terpu, said that a portion of their shareholdings are subject to a financing agreement with Opes Prime.

    Blackham Resources: The WA mineral explorer placed its shares in trading halt after a director of the company and other shareholders said that a portion of their shareholdings are subject to an equity finance contract with Opes Prime.

    Red Fork Energy: Junior oil and gas explorer Red Fork Energy requested a trading halt after a substantial shareholder revealed its Red Fork stake is held through an account linked to Opes Prime. Red Fork's substantial shareholders include Lehman Brothers (16.35 per cent), Golden Deeds (10.1 per cent), and Credit Suisse (6.18 per cent).

    Thundelarra Exploration: The WA-based minerals explorer believes that less than 200,000 company shares are held in a margin loan account with Opes Prime. It added that no executives or directors of the company had any margin lending arrangements with Opes Prime.

    Sunset Energy: West Australian energy firm Sunset Energy said that 1.6 million of its shares were now held by ANZ Nominees limited on behalf of Opes Prime. According to the company, the shares represent 6.4 per cent of the company's issued share capital.

    Reed Resources: Gold explorer Reed Resources said brokerage firm Montagu Stockbrokers has purchased it's shares that were held as a part of Opes prime Group facilities.

    Dyesol: Solar cell equipment maker Dyesol's director Gavin Tulloch and substantial shareholder Sylvia Tulloch have been notified by Opes Prime receivers that about 2.6 million Dyesol shares, subject to a loan agreement with the stockbroker, have been transferred to secured creditors.

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