Alpha Blue Ocean advised on a recent financing agreement for Auplata, a gold producing company based in French Guiana. The agreement takes the form of the issuance of a series of ODIRNANE bonds to from Auplata to the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund, which is wholly advised, managed and owned by Alpha Blue Ocean.
CEO of Alpha Blue Ocean and head of the EHGO Fund Pierre Vannineuse stated that the company was proud to welcome Auplata into its investment portfolio by securing financing for the development of the business. The financing agreement has set a maximum nominal amount of 60 million euros through the issue of bonds over a two-year contracted period. The short video attachment gives an overview of the definition of a bond.
ODIRNANE Bonds Agreement
On the 21st of November 2017, Auplata issued the EHGO Fund with 400 ODIRNANE bonds, each having a 5,000-euro nominal amount representing a total of 2 million euro as the initial tranche of the debenture loan. These bonds had BSA subscription warrants attached.
Five further issuance warrants were also handed over, representing the following five tranches of 2 million euro each over 400 bonds up to a value of 10 million euro. All further tranches, with a total maximum nominal value of 48 million euro, remained subject to shareholder approval at the following annual general meeting.
The financing has a unique aspect in that, in addition to the bonds and the warrants attached to tranches one and seven, the EHGO Fund has made a further commitment to Auplata for the previous purchase of 200,000 euro’s-worth of shares in the company on the securities market, to be held until the financing programme reaches its end.
The EHGO Fund also commits to holding the shares it has been issued in the scope of a 4.2 million euro share capital increase, supporting both parties’ long-term interest throughout the financing agreement period.
The purpose of the financing for Auplata has three main aims. One is to fund the completion of Dieu Merci’s new cyanidation plant construction. The PDF attachment to this post looks at the process of cyanidation and how it is used to extract gold from ore.
Secondly, Auplata seeks to finance a second construction at the Yaou mine, a processing plant for modular gold ore compliant with regulations from ICPE, or installations classées pour la protection de l’environnement. Thirdly, Auplata will use financing gained through the ODIRNANE bond agreement to fund external growth, with particular focus on the gradual acquisition of Osead Maroc Mining, or OMM, through purchase of some or all of the shares in the company.
Auplata is currently France’s largest exchange-listed gold producer, with a presence in Africa as well as French Guiana. In the infographic attachment you can find some facts about the global gold market.
The asset portfolio of Auplata is varied, including both operation and exploration sites as well as one farm-out operation site across French Guiana and along the Ivory Coast. The African continent portion of the portfolio has been developed since mid-2015, when Auplata acquired OMCI in the Ivory Coast.
Auplata has held the extraction plant and mining rights at Dieu Merci since 2006 and an extraction authorisation and operating licence at the Yaou mine since 2009. The planned acquisition of OMM will further enable Auplata to expand into the production of other precious metals including silver production through the Touissit Mining Company, in which OMM holds a 38.28% share capital interest.