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MetalNRG – “Tiger Woods” is back…..again. Does he still have the magic?

By Cynical Bear | Monday 6 March 2017

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Really pleased to see the announcement from MetalNRG (NEX: MNRG) this morning that Paul Johnson, who I dubbed AIM’s very own Tiger Woods for reasons outlined HERE, is back in a top job having taken on the CEO role at Metal NRG. I’m hoping for good things, Paul.

By way of background, I gave Paul the moniker for managing to issue substantial RNS’s on 14 days in a row while at Metal Tiger (MTR), which was an astonishing performance, very much equivalent to winning 14 Majors in the golfing world (obvs!). I was hoping for much of the same when he was appointed CEO of China Africa Resources (CAF), shortly to be renamed Pembridge Resources, in mid-December 2016.

However, a bit like Tiger’s first comeback, that didn’t quite go according to plan and Paul stepped down as CEO quite abruptly two months later on 17 February 2017. I wondered at the time what had happened here, but with hindsight, when one takes a closer look at the relevant RNS’s, it could have been that there was an unresolvable conflict of interest, in much the same way that Tiger had one of those between his marriage to Elin Nordegren and his insatiable addiction to blonde hookers.

Interestingly, Paul’s dalliance with MetalNRG started some time ago as while in his senior role at Metal Tiger, it acquired 28% of the business by investing £50,000 in to what was ZimNRG at the time in March 2016. This was around the time when Metal Tiger couldn’t go more than a week without making a small-ish investment in various “quality” opportunities.

Since that time, MetalNRG has singularly failed to make any investments and, with Metal Tiger refocussing on its core projects in Botswana and Thailand and being less keen on the various small investments in sub-scale commodity plays, it appears that on 31 January, Metal Tiger agreed to sell its 28% stake in Metal NRG to Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle, both taking 14%. I doubt that Metal Tiger needed much persuasion.

Whether the Board at China Africa weren’t best pleased with its CEO owning 14% of a competitor, who knows, but for whatever reason, it was only a couple of weeks later when Paul stepped off the China Africa Board, freeing himself up to focus on the future at MetalNRG.

Any golf fan will know that Tiger is still struggling to make that comeback but the golf world is all the more poorer for that. I feel the same way about sub-scale commodity investment plays and Paul Johnson.

Come on Paul, we’re all rooting for you, go for 15 this time!

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