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Bluebird Merchant Ventures cleans up balance sheet with debt to shares conversion

The South Korean mine developer has converted US$2.9mln of loans and liabilities into new shares
Chief executive Colin Patterson has become the largest shareholder with a 19.1% stake

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (LON:BMV) said it was “largely debt free” and has cleaned up its balance sheet, as it looks to begin construction to reopen two mines in South Korea.

The AIM-listed Company published a prospectus late on Thursday that provides detail on its US$2.9mln of loans and liabilities, which it said have been converted to 121.51mln shares, representing 32.94% of the enlarged share capital.

READ: Bluebird Merchant Ventures to start drilling at Kochang in July

“The conversion represents debt largely from management, who are long term shareholders, committed to the future of the Company and bringing the South Korean projects Gubong and Kochang into production,” Bluebird said.

This includes chief executive Colin Patterson, who has become the largest shareholder with a 19.1% stake,

Said Patterson: “We are pleased to announce this major milestone for Bluebird. The company is now largely debt free and the balance sheet has been cleaned up.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the projects, Gubong and Kochang, and we look forward to receiving the permits which will allow us to progress our activities.”

In the prospectus, the company said it has sufficient working capital to fund the pre-construction phase through to the end of June and to fund its administrative expenses until that point, but “does not have sufficient working capital” for the following 12 months.

In order for the group to be able to continue to meet its administrative costs after 30 June 2019 and to progress the South Korean projects beyond the pre-construction phase, Bluebird said it “will need to raise additional funding before 1 July 2019”, estimating that it will require an additional US$1.05mln to fund its share of the costs of the construction phase, including working capital.

Bluebird shares were down 2% to 2.11p on Friday morning. 

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