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Zoltav Resources – Overvalued hype?

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 4 June 2012

AIM listed Zoltav Resources (ZOL) is a company hyped on the back of supposed involvement by Roman Abramovich’s son. At 2.58p it is capitalised at £9.7 million. In early 2011 it raised £2.25 million. It has – as far as we can tell – made six investments in large liquid Russian oil companies and sold three of them. Its PLC costs (not least some very expensive advisers) make me suspect that net current assets are now way below £2.5 million. Even at June 30th 2011 net assets were down to c$2.5 million ( shall we call it £1.6 million). My money is on net assets/cash being well below £1 million by now – hence the recent sale of shares in 3 of the 6 companies it has backed.

So what is the upside? Daddy A injects some Siberian asset into Zoltav? Well he might just do that but since he could list such an asset for well under a million quid in its own right why on earth would Zoltav shareholders get much of the equity? If an asset has real value why on earth would Daddy A list it? He does not need the cash – he would surely far rather sweat it himself outside of the public gaze?
The Zoltav business is – on fundamentals – worth not many rows of beans. I would argue that it is worth about net cash and so is at least 90% overvalued. I should note that on September 30th 2011 Zoltav said it was “actively reviewing a number of significant investment opportunities in Russia.” So far all it has done is bought shares in a few Russian blue chip companies and then sold them.

What if Daddy A has other things on his mind like worrying about Fat Frank Lampard’s thigh strain? As each month goes by Zoltav’s net assets/ cash position gets worse and worse. Shorting this stock may well be impossible and runs the risk that Daddy A pulls a Siberian rabbit from the hat sending the share price zooming ahead. But buying/owing this share also seems to have very material risks – viz that it will (ceteris paribus) run out of cash and is already 90% overvalued. I cannot say that I feel any desire to get involved.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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