Teesside Gazette, 1 July 2020, Sirius Minerals Shareholders Call for Inquiry

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/sirius-minerals-shareholders-call-inquiry-18519344 quotes SiriusClaim Chairman Paul Anscombe in an article headed “Sirius Minerals shareholders call for inquiry after reports of minister’s meeting with rival boss – Investors say they are still waiting for answers over why the Government refused to provide life-saving support

Paul Anscombe, chairman of the Sirius claim group, which is considering legal action on behalf of shareholders, said: “We would like to see a proper select committee inquiry into the process of Government support for Sirius Minerals and their application that also may explain the Jenrick issue.”

Cliff Weight has written twice this week to the Select Committee asking that they reconsider their decision on 4 March not to hold an enquiry into Sirius Minerals.

On 30 June I wrote

“The new Sirius Claim Group (www.SiriusClaim.com ) are working to review all previous actions and decisions of Sirius Minerals and the board of directors to establish if private investors have been in anyway misled or disadvantaged.

One of the most significant decisions that the BOD took in 2019 was to stop pursuing the government support and guarantee for the issue of bonds as part of the Stage 2 financing. Instead, they chose to go ahead with an alternative proposal from JP Morgan which ultimately collapsed when they were unable to place the bonds.  Clearly this decision was pivotal and the collapse of the Stage 2 funding led to a share price collapse and the eventual sale to Anglo American which left tens of thousands of private investors with significant losses as their shares where acquired for just 5.5p each. Investors in total lost about £1billion of their investments. This is a huge sum and the reasons for this deserve investigation.

Despite all attempts to get to the truth about what went on between the Government and Sirius Minerals nothing has been forthcoming. Did the Government turn down the application for support?  Did Sirius Minerals just walk away without completing the process to take a much higher risk approach to the Stage 2 funding?  Surely, this information can no longer be classed as commercially sensitive and the Government should be accountable for the decisions it makes. Clearly the actions of Robert Jenrick (as mentioned in the Guardian article) raises some further questions regarding this matter and with circa 85,000 former private investors in Sirius Minerals there is a public interest to be served here and we would like to see the publication of the application from Sirius Minerals and the outcome with supporting reasoning along with an inquiry into the process and the role of Robert Jenrick in the matter.

Investors deserve to know what happened between Sirius Minerals and the Government in 2019 which led to Sirius Minerals BOD walking away and taking the company down the alternative and ultimately fatal (for private investors) route.

The Government keeps talking about the Northern Powerhouse and how it wants to ensure that companies get second stage funding here in the UK rather than being sold off to foreign companies. So where was that support for this significant 100 year GDP changing UK project? It seems there was no support and nobody wants to disclose to investors why!

The repercussions of Sirius Minerals and the collapse of the stage 2 funding will be felt for decades to come as pension pots and savings have been devasted and countless lives ruined and as a result there is little doubt that the welfare state will be further burdened in the future.”

My previous email on 28 June said:

“I refer to your email of 4 March.

I am surprised and annoyed the Select Committee is not reviewing this and suggest that, in light of the recent revelations in the Guardian and elsewhere, that you look again at whether the Committee might look further at this.

Robert Jenrick faces questions over meeting with Israeli …

The Guardian25 Jun 2020

The Guardian understands that Jenrick retained oversight of Sirius Minerals‘ application for financial support from the Treasury for at least six …

Robert Jenrick admits Israeli billionaire he had meeting with is …

The Guardian17 hours ago

The Guardian revealed this week that Jenrick met the Israeli billionaire … Six months later, in September 2019, Sirius Minerals revealed that the …

UK minister faces questions over meeting with Israeli mining 
The Times of Israel1 hour ago

It is extremely disappointing that that the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee decided not to investigate this case.

Those at the Sirius Court Meeting and GM in March in London raised a number of very serious questions that were not answered satisfactorily. A Parliamentary Committee investigation would have been a quick and relatively easy way to air these questions publicly and get answers within a few months.

It was particularly disappointing that the Sirius meetings in London were not broadcast on the web. There were many people in Yorkshire and elsewhere who were not able to travel to London and would have liked to have watched the proceedings. Sirius banned video recordings and photographs from the meeting. This is not the action of someone who has nothing to hide.

The Court and General meeting would have been much better attended had it been held in Whitby or Scarborough or elsewhere in Yorkshire. Another alternative would have been to have an information meeting in Yorkshire, prior to the London meeting, but Sirius chose not to do this.

Now, unless you investigate this, the only redress open to aggrieved shareholders is through the legal process, which sadly will take years to pursue.”


Cliff Weight

ShareSoc Director and team member of the ShareSoc Sirius Shareholder Group and of SiriusClaim, and former Sirius shareholder.

see https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/sirius/ and www.SiriusClaim.com for further information.