Pallinghurst takes charge at Gemfields

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Pallinghurst takes charge at Gemfields

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Published Date: 2017-08-07 | Source: INCE|Community | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Pallinghurst takes charge at Gemfields

CLEAN SWEEP AT GEMFIELDS AS PALLINGHURST TAKES CHARGE

Gilbertson plans to turn Gemfields into the "De Beers of coloured gemstones"

Pallinghurst Resources has wasted no time in taking charge at precious stones miner Gemfields, which it recently bought out after a brief;takeover battle with Chinese suitor Fosun International.

Pallinghurst, chaired by former BHP Billiton CEO Brian Gilbertson, has commenced on a strategic review of Gemfields following it's delisting late last month. Non-excutive directors have resigned and its chief executive and chief financial officers have also agreed to step down.

Pallinghurst already held 47% percent of Gemfields, which owns the iconic Faberge brand. It wanted to buy out minorities so it could delist the company and take operational control. This marks a shift in strategy for Pallinghurst from an investment group to an operating company. It's already moving in the troops, with Gilbertson's son Sean taking over as CEO, while Gilbertson becomes chair and Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen his deputy. They have, however, kept a number of  members of the Gemfields executive committee.

Pallinghurst says it's busy reviewing Gemfields' operations, including processes, plans, budgets and its financial position. It will base a development plan for the company on the results of the review. First up will be to tackle its hefty debt burden, which has been exaccerbated by weak emerald production at its Kagem mine and a $7 million break fee incurred by the previous Gemfields board as it fought off Pallinghurst's offer.

Perhaps the market is warming to the idea: Pallinghurt's shares closed 0.7% higher at R3.04 on Friday.



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