Armour Energy collapse followed Chinese offer to buy the company

In October, Shunkang Holding Group came knocking on the door of Brisbane’s Armour Energy looking for a deal to buy the company. A month later, Armour assets are being sold off and receivers, managers and adminstrators have been appointed.

Nov 14, 2023, updated Nov 14, 2023
QPM is cashing in on energy volatility (Pic: REUTERS/Raquel Cunha)

QPM is cashing in on energy volatility (Pic: REUTERS/Raquel Cunha)

It’s a rare failure for Steve Bizzell and Nick Mather, who together won big with their deal in 2010 to sell Arrow Energy to PetroChina and Shell for $3.5 billion.

Armour had gas projects in the Surat, Otway, McArthur and the Cooper Eromanga basins.

Armour is continuing to run, but KordaMentha’s Robert Hutson and Richard Tucker are shopping the company’s assets in an urgent sale.

No debt level has been revealed, but clearly there were signs of trouble.

In its annual report published in September, the company said it had not met certain financial undertakings in relation to its secured amortising notes valued at $17 million and noteholders had approved a variation to the repayment schedule. Armour was expected to pay out the notes by November 30.

Its annual report also shows it had debts of $34 million and a cash balance of $337,000. Its sales revenue had fallen 17 per cent and its June 30 result was a $21 million loss.

In the notes to its accounts, auditors BDO said the debt issue relating to the notes meant there was a material uncertainty which “may cast doubt over the group’s ability to continue as a going concern and therefore the entity may be unable to realise assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.

However, DGR Global in which Mather is a major shareholder, founder and director, provided a formal letter of financial support for Armour and the company had also signed a deal with Shell for the supply of gas.

DGR told the ASX this week that it held 20 million shares in Armour and $21 million in its notes.

Armour’s last update on the Shunkang deal said no agreement had been reached.

At the time it was negotiating with Shunkang for a loan to fund its capital works.






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