Tag Archives: pre.to

Access journalism, done right: The Serafino Iacono case

Tommy Humphreys of CEO.ca traveled in Colombia with Frank Giustra and Serafino Iacono. He got rare face time with Iacono, who as chairman of Pacific Rubiales Corp. and a group of mining and infrastructure companies is a particularly alluring subject for media scrutiny. The article is basically positive and ever-so-cheery (“Net net, the future is bright for Colombia, and Fino and Frank’s Blue Pacific is moving along at a rapid pace.” Fino and Frank? Really? And net net? WTF) but heck, there is a place for this stuff. There’s no harm in hearing the founders of a bunch of companies, giving us their pitch. Sure, the pitch is not very heavy on content, but it’s ok, it gives you some sense of how Iacono and Giustra have done well in Colombia.

What makes this article fun are the subtle digs. Like this one. 

“Colombia is the longest standing democracy in South America,” Fino tells me, his ever-present security detail hovering ominously at our periphery. “I never feel like I’m in danger here.” Continue reading

Pacific Rubiales responds (PRE.to)

Pacific Rubiales (PRE.to) counsel Peter Volk wrote a comment on this site this morning (and this time I’ve confirmed that it was him) and in the name of equal time I am pointing you that way and reproducing the letter here. I think it’s important to hear the company’s side of the story. Without additional commentary, the letter:

My name is Peter Volk and I am General Counsel for Pacific Rubiales (PRE) and, in the spirit of full disclosure, also General Counsel for PetroMagdalena (PMD). It is not corporate policy for either company to reply to web posts but I feel it is important that the record be set straight. I can categorically deny and reject the notion that the email referenced above and quoted in your blog on the proposed acquisition of PMD by PRE was sent by Mr. Iacono; while he may disagree with many of your posts, as you know, he has never responded before and there is little reason or incentive for him o respond to that particular one, despite its many inaccuracies (only one of which I will point out, because it is rather critical – PMD subscribers at $0.30 also saw their securrities consolidated on a 7 for 1 basis, so their actual current cost is $2.10). Mr. Iacono, PRE and the PMD board all believe that the transaction delivers value in an increasingly difficult market, and have the confidence in the value proposition to allow shareholders to decide if this is true. PMD will be issuing a shareholder circular shortly that makes this case, and therefore there is no reason or benefit to responding to blogs (other than, I guess, this response).

I am not an IT person but I do appreciate your pointing out what could possibly be a security breach, which we will be investigating. In the future, please feel free to call me first to verify the provenance of any such emails.

Finally, my thanks to all of you for a very healthy discussion on the proposed transaction and its potential benefits.

Yours truly,

Peter Volk
General Counsel, PRE and PMD

Regardless of anything else in this letter, on one thing he’s dead-on: In the future, I’m going to call to verify the provenance of mails claiming to come from companies. Anyway, thanks Mr. Volk for taking the time to write, and please keep in touch.

Rubiales (PRE.to) to buy Alange-cum-PetroMagdalena (PMD.to) — time to cash out

(After-hours update at bottom regarding that headline.)

When life gives you lemonade, dilute and drink. Or as the statement says:

Shareholders of PetroMagdalena will receive C$1.60 in cash for each outstanding Share, representing a premium of approximately 38% on the 20 day volume weighted average price of PetroMagdalena’s common shares on the TSX-V as of June 4, 2012. In addition, holders of all of the outstanding PetroMagdalena warrants (TSX-V: PMD.WT) will receive C$0.25 in cash for each unexercised Warrant held at closing. The Warrants had a closing trading price on the TSX-V of C$0.215 on June 4, 2012.

Pacific Rubiales chairmen Serafino Iacono and Miguel de la Campa owned a combined 644,857 shares of PetroMagdalena, according to PetroMagdalena’s 2011 Annual Information Form. PRE.to agreed to buy Petromagdalena for $1.60 a share, or 44 cents a share above average market price, in cash. If the deal goes through as currently structured, it will put $2.35 million of Pacific Rubiales money directly into the pockets of Iacono and de la Campa. Continue reading

Alange-cum-Petromagdalena (PMD.v) 2011 results: all ok now? (UPDATED)

Back in the dark ages of 2011, I wrote about PetroMagdalena Energy (PMD.v), at the time known as Alange Energy. Short version: Management boosted shareholder expectations. When the disappointment came, the stock fell. I pointed out the company CEO touting on TV. The CEO quit. People got annoyed. Shareholders sued the company. The company threatened to sue me. A year later, what do we see in the 2011 results?

The company gives play to its increase in reserves and steadily rising production. Production is still way below where it should have been according to the BS spouted by the prior management team, but increased production is increased production. Good news. With these oil prices, that should make for a profitable company.

Instead, we see a $111 million annual net loss at a company with only $349 million in assets and $86 million in sales. Ouch. Where did the money go? Continue reading