Eurasia Gold Inc., a Kazakh-based gold miner part-owned by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, plans to sell shares in London next month to raise as much as $150 million (€114 million) for acquisitions in central Asia.
The company, already listed in Toronto, will sell new dollar-denominated shares, while existing shareholders the Mukashev family will offer part of their stake to banks managing the sale, said Tim Read, chairman of Eurasia Gold Inc. Nomura International and Uralsib Financial Corp. will manage the sale. „We're going from a Kazakh miner to a central Asia-wide approach,” Read said by telephone from London.
„We'll end up as a $450 million to $500 million (€381 million) company, fully cashed up to develop new assets.” Eurasia plans to increase its output from 66,000 ounces of gold last year to 350,000 ounces of gold equivalent by 2010 by buying a gold-copper project in Kyrgyzstan and a silver project in Tajikistan. The company's output will be two-thirds gold and the rest mainly copper, Read said.
The projects are owned by the Eurasia Gold founder Kumar Mukashev and his family, who hold a controlling 54% stake in the Toronto-based company. Vekselberg holds about 24% through his Renova investment vehicle, and that will drop to 12% after the London sale, Read said. „He's not cashing out,” Read said, adding that the Russian billionaire signed a so-called lock-in agreement not to sell his Eurasia shares.
The Mukashev family's stake will stay at „just over 50%” since it owns the Kyrgyz and the Tajik projects being acquired by Eurasia, Read said. The family will not be voting on the related party transaction when it is set for approval before Eurasia's shareholders this month, he said. Eurasia will offer shares to investors in Europe and the US About $50 million from the sale will be invested in each of the new projects, the Bozymchak deposit in Kyrgyzstan and the Akjilga mine in Tajikistan, Read said. (Bloomberg)