The company, which is planning to divest its interests to Colorado private equity firm Resource Capital Funds in an $18 million deal, disclosed its plans in a recent regulatory filing with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
“Since deferring an initial public offering of the company’s shares on the Australian Securities Exchange planned for mid-2012, the company has struggled, in the face of a sharply deteriorating thermal coal market, to raise the capital required to find the operations of AENA, that is, the development of its U.S. port projects, the optimization of its U.S. coal mining assets and the implementation generally of its U.S. coal export strategy,” officials said in the filing.
“During that time, the only source of capital the company has been able to secure has been from its major shareholder, RCF V. This is the case despite various attempts to raise equity and debt from third parties and, more recently, to raise case by trying to sell individual assets…not required for the company’s core business. All of these attempts have been unsuccessful.”
Ambre’s planned Port of Morrow (Columbia River) project in Oregon was slated to ship as much as 8.8 million tons of coal to Asia annually from Boardman and Port Westward; however, the Oregon Department of State Lands denied a key permit to the project three months ago. Sister terminal project Longview is still awaiting necessary permit approvals before it can move forward.
The producer, which expects final shareholder approval for the divestment deal in December, said its Decker mine in Montana is also included in the RCF transaction, as are the Black Butte mine and Big Horn deposits in Wyoming. Its Utah subsidiary, Ambre Energy North America, will be transferred to Resource Capital and remain a representative for the export projects.
The company’s leadership will remain in place.
“We are extremely pleased to continue to have RCF as an active and committed partner in the development of Ambre’s coal assets and export projects,” said Ambre Energy North America CEO Everett King. “RCF shares Ambre’s vision that these projects will succeed and will result in a welcome boost to local economies throughout the western U.S.”
The complete filing can be viewed here.