AN ASPIRING manganese miner, Bracken International Mining, struck an "equity line financing" deal with Alvin Donovan. However, according to its chief executive, Luke Bracken, Donovan took a fee and said "raise the money yourself".
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Early last year, Bracken was approached by Donovan's (now former) agent, Kim Cox, with the proposition that Donovan's company, Equity Partners Fund, would take Bracken public in a float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and raise 200 million. "The 200 million was to be raised from Alvin Donovan's 'network of 55,000 investors','' Bracken says.
Donovan has denied to The Sun-Herald that he made any such claims: "Equity Partners Fund SPC is a segregated portfolio company set up under the laws of the Cayman Islands. We have no outside investors and we do not provide upfront funding to companies," he said. [continued below]....
Bracken says he was told EPF was backed by a Chinese bank, Zigong. Indeed, a Newsmaker media release said Bracken had ''secured a 200 million funding package through Chinese-based Zigong Commercial Equity Partners Fund SP''. After his company listed in Frankfurt in October, Bracken was meant to hand over shares in it to EPF at a 10 per cent discount.
Donovan would take a 2 per cent fee and immediately remit the 200 million to Bracken. Assuming that the equity line was in place, Bracken began to sign contracts with equipment and materials suppliers for the manganese mine in Papua New Guinea.
When the time came for the contracts to be paid, Bracken called in the money from EPF. At this point, Bracken says Donovan told him that he had to raise the money himself. "Donovan denied he agreed to provide the funding directly," Bracken says. "This contradicted his own press release, which stated EPF had planned to fully fund (us) for 200 million."
Bracken says that Donovan also demanded that he place his company's shares in EPF's account. Bracken refused. "If things sound too good to be true, they probably are. I spent six months taking my company public. I signed contracts worth millions of dollars.''
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