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LionGold allays concerns over funding for its operations after audit disclaimer

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Liongold, which has failed to get a clean bill of health from auditors PwC for its latest full-year financial results, has sought to assure shareholders that it is able to obtain sufficient funding for its operations.

LIONGOLD, which has failed to get a clean bill of health from auditors PwC for its latest full-year financial results, has sought to assure shareholders that it is able to obtain sufficient funding for its operations.

In a clarification note on Thursday, it said its directors and audit committee have reviewed the fund-raising initiatives and noted that while uncertainties exist, "there are reasonable grounds to believe that the company will be able to raise sufficient funds to enable the group to fund its operations in the next 12 months".

It pointed to fund-raising plans, such as a proposed rights-cum-warrants issue announced on June 30 to raise some S$18.5 million; this comprises a two-for-five underwritten rights issue, together with free warrants on a one-for-five basis.

The group has also entered into bond subscription agreements to raise S$15 million by issuing unsecured redeemable convertible bonds due in 2018 to two investors, subject to shareholders' approval.

LionGold said it intends to submit the necessary applications to the Singapore Exchange immediately after its fiscal 2014 annual general meeting scheduled for Nov 19. "The directors believe that shareholders of the company will vote for and support this fund-raising exercise," it added.

The group said it has also obtained a loan of S$7.5 million from what it described as a high-net-worth individual.

PwC issued a disclaimer of opinion for the fiscal 2014 financial statements of LionGold, one of the counters at the centre of last October's penny stock debacle.

The auditor cited two factors for that disclaimer, meaning that it was unable to express an opinion on whether the statements were true and fair.

One reason was the huge loss stemming from the penny stock crash and whether LionGold would be able to gather enough funding and continue as an operating entity. The other reason was the lack of information over the ongoing Commercial Affairs Department investigation and whether the results would make an impact on the business.