Sherritt International Corporation (Sherritt) (TSX:S), a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores, announced that, in order to preserve liquidity and protect its balance sheet and consistent with previous disclosure, it will not fund its 12% share of a US$45 million cash call (100% basis) received from the Ambatovy Joint Venture (Ambatovy JV). The cash call was made due to the Ambatovy JVs short term liquidity needs.
As a result of not funding the cash call, Sherritt is now a defaulting shareholder under the terms of the Ambatovy JV Shareholders Agreement, triggering a number of inter-related developments, including:
- New funding provided by Sumitomo Corporation (Sumitomo) and Korea Resources Corporation (Kores) in response to this and future cash calls will be repaid in priority to Sherritts funding to date;
- If Sumitomo and/or Kores choose to fund Sherritts 12% share of the cash call, within the next 12 months they can also elect to receive an equivalent amount of Sherritts current highest ranking debt in the Ambatovy JV, which would dilute Sherritts economic interest;
- Loss of voting rights at the Ambatovy JV, which will further reduce Sherritts influence and authority at the local level;
- Sumitomo and/or Kores can elect to acquire Sherritts 12% interest at the lower of fair market value and book value; and
- Limited recourse default to the Ambatovy JV partner loans ($144.0 million as at December 31, 2018). This limited recourse default does not impact the 2023 maturity of these loans and any potential recourse prior to maturity is limited to Sherritts interest in the Ambatovy JV.
Further details outlining the impacts and potential impacts of becoming a defaulting shareholder can be found in Sherritts Annual Information Form filed on February 13, 2019, including without limitation in the Risk Factors section thereof.
Sherritt is a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores with projects and operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar. The Corporation is the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island. Sherritt licenses its proprietary technologies and provides metallurgical services to mining and refining operations worldwide. The Corporations common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol S.
Joe Racanelli, Director of Investor Relations
416-935-2457 or [email protected]