We spoke to gas explorer and developer Sound Energy. Here are the latest updates from Executive Chairman Graham Lyon. Watch the full video here.
What will Nick be paid now that he is a NED? As the CEO he received over $3.5 million per year together with bonus options and first dibs as underwriter of fund raisings, which were all very profitable over this last decade or two. Will he maintain his disproportionate allocations of the Dec'21 60p options (usually at 50% levels) or will these be spread out to all employees as an incentive. Noted that millions of 34p options have been approved but nothing about who will receive these. Some have indicated that he would look after all small shareholders but the proof is in the pudding served up. Unless you are a share trader most small long term holder are down quite considerably. Know that quite a few holders bought in when SOLG share price collapsed from 50p when first listed and are sitting on huge profits (but of late down my 50%). Mather is still CEO of all the other daughter companies of DGR........and his style of management has seen most of these collapse in real value all while he picks up an additional combined income of around $800,000(A) p/a.
There has been a fair bit of comment on UK and Aust discussion boards that we have to wait for both BFS and CFS Reports to be completed and that they have been repeatedly delayed with an expectation that one might be released by the end of this first quarter or was that the end quarter of 2021. Who knows for sure? It was also strongly suggested that should a major/s actually conduct a takeover or JV then that major or majors would then conduct their own independent reports before proceeding with mining. BHP and Newcrest Mining, and the rest of the world for that matter, would certainly know SOLG is sitting on one heck of a proven Tier 1 resource. It is my belief that NM has been the road block, with his personal aims, ambitions and self interest considerations (stretch out more for his own gains....options, bonus shares and $3.4 million per year.......) which has caused SOLG share price to be at the mercy of day traders and MM manipulations for the last few years. With his resignation as CEO does anyone expect his replacement to receive anywhere near his current package, let alone the tens of millions of the remaining 60p Dec 2021 options still to be allocated. His self interest and possible greed has caused his demise and I for one am glad that he will be deprived of the power that he abused for so long. Sure he has some good skills which can be used to the betterment of of SOLG as an independent director. His his resignation as CEO, may at long last allow for a more balanced BOD that will give good and fair governance and management. Might even save a million or so dollars to be used for drilling etc purposes.
I might point out that as a shareholder in DGR, which owns approx 9.8% of SOLG, I was not asked for my opinion as to whether he, Mather, should be retained as CEO. Mather, who is also the CEO of DGR, used my interest in DGR to reinforce the vote for himself. Just presumed that he had the right to do so. I would suggest that possibly a reasonable amount of DGR shareholders might not have wanted their voting capacity in SOLG to go that way. DGR has been repeatedly held down by our BOD, most of whom are BOD in SOLG, to to seriously feather their own nests. Mather owns less that 20% of DGR but used 100% to help him in the recent vote to retain his power. Say 30% would vote against Mather's continuance as SOLG CEO, and the voting might have proven even closer that the 45/55 result to retain him. Just a thought!
You have forgotten that Mather has some 100 million 60p SOLG options that are due in Dec 2020. He has already shown time and time again that when his companies allocate options that the vast majority go to Mather. There were 50 odd million allocated which were due to be taken up in Aug/Sept this year...Mather had over 35 million of those. Haven/t heard if any of these were taken up at their 40p or 60p price.......would suggest that they have been allowed to expire. So Mather has 100+ 60p options in which to enrich himself should a take over occur above the 60p mark. 100 million options will cause an immediate 5% dilutions in the number of shares on issue. Mather's $3.4million (US) annual package in SOLG plus his $1 million from his other directorships (DGR and other daughter companies) plus his discounted price which mounted to well over $300k from his under writings at the various capital raisings would I suggest significantly give him incentive to drag the anchor as to when SOLG will be subject to a takeover or go to production in 5 plus years. He is looking after himself and continues to stave the small holders in all the companies he is associated with while he benefits handsomely.
A topic that has not been mentioned for quite a while is the issuance of the remaining 60p options due in Dec., 21. Roughly 50 million of the 40 and 60p options expired a couple of months ago. NM has been allocated 35million of those, with several other board and senior management allocated a million or so each. Nothing has gone out to indicate the expiry of these options. Also, BHP is sitting on quite a few million 37p options (tens of millions from memory) so there is already in place a significant dilution to the everyday and institutional holders should a takeover offer ever be put to the market. However, one would expect that none of 60p options will be exercised by Dec 21 should SOLG try and go it alone. My thoughts only.
Have seen any releases concerning the 40p and 60p options which were due this last month. From memory they amounted to 40 odd thousand or so. Most were allotted Mather but most of the Directors will miss out as well. Not significant but this will reduce the dilution to the rest of the holders. The rest of the options will be due in Dec 2021 so have some 16 months for a takeover will be necessary for Directors to receive their incentives. My guess is that we will not get an offer until mid to late next year.......as this will suit BHP and Newcrest who would have allowed this 'incentive scheme' to be passed in the first place. Both of these companies have averaged down and any takeover price offered hereafter will be reduced accordingly.
In my view Mather will not go to production. Should he attempt to do so then his 60 p bonus options to which he has already been allotted nearly 35 million will all but disappear in Dec., 21. There are another 100 million which he can get his, well deserved, hands on. His initial 40p plus 60p options which expired this last month have disappeared and it will be doubtful the price of our shares will exceed 60p, unless a takeover occurs or significant finds come about from our other permit areas, should we have to wait another 4-5 years before production. Remember Mather and Board have shown how they can dry up any and all information for long periods should it suit their purpose. I would think he would be very foolish to wait too long with a world recession/depression on a cliffs edge together with all the other issues including corvid-19, local counntry elections, China, and lots of other instabilities.
Can anyone advise when the 40p and 60p options are due? From memory it was this month or in July. Doubt whether any of them will be exercised at current share price levels. NM will be spitting chips that these freebees have or will soon disappear. He will just have to wait until Dec 2021 to replace this lost opportunity. With only 60 pence options left to be allocated, does anyone expect Mather to accept a takeover bid to be less than 60p/share? Only 180 million 60 pence options on offer....remember Mather has already allocated himself 35 million. Dare say at least double that figure will end up in Mather's kitty should a takeover eventuate, especially if T/O figure over the 60p mark. No risk and all profit to him and option holders. Share value dilution will occur to all other shareholders but hey, Mather will ensure all shareholders get true value!
It is about the time when the 40pence and some of the 60pence options are due to expire? Haven't seen who they have been allocated to but I think we can suggest which Director would have gotten the lion's share. At least should they not be exercised then that small dilution to the rest of the shareholders will have been avoided. Am waiting the the coming annual report to be released to see how many shares have been purchased by Mather from his $3 million shares as per his salary package with SOLG. This is the third of 3 years which he is owed the 3 million but there has been no allotment made to him.....perhaps he is accumulating same, 4 years = 12million dollars (US) to buy the 60p options which are due in Dec., 21.
There is another 200million options still in play should a takeover occur before Dec., 21. With the 130 million from these 2 latest and unexpected capital raising together with the 100million BHP last purchased, I think the total number of shares will be in the realm of 2.4billion shares. There are at least 180 million in play here. If you want to see more of Mather's strategy of 'looking after all shareholders' have a look at DGR on the Aus Hotcopper discussion forum. A CR that has destroyed DGR's share price with an out of blue capital raising with most the money going to support failed DGR daughter and new companies leaving only $300,000 in DGR's almost empty bank account. Every other company that he is currently Director of has collapsed with at least two have their shares down to 0.001c per share. Others have dropped over 90% as well. Have a look how Mather has accumulated a significant number of his shares in SOLG and you will see that have been granted to him for zero pence or well under 10p. Let us not forget the 35 million SOLG options he has gifted himself already, with a further 130 million still to come. To say all that is happening is to encourage BHP and/or Newcrest and or another major player to make a higher takeover offer. It was Mather that instigated the proviso limited them BHP to Oct of this year, before it could make such offer. A recount of the last 18 months: gone to war with Cornerstone, BHP, Newcrest and now DGR while selling huge chunks of the company at arguably discounted prices. How can we continue to trust this guy when he has and continues to destroy so many shareholder's investments.
theIceberg, Mather has been planning this for months. Have a look at the paperwork involved in this capital raising. Doubt Citi has any involvement in this decision other than confirming what NM had already started rolling with. Unfortunately, DGR holders have no idea how this will run in the short term. SOLG and Cornerstone are running with the wind and this CR could really dampen DGR's share price. We will see what happens after trading recommences this Friday.
In fact DGR is not trading today and cannot do so until released on Friday (Australian time). Mather has out of the blue brought on a 1 -4 capital raising which will be completed on the 21 May at half the current DGR market value (last trade at 7.5 cents per share) at 3.7cps. We will now have an increase of 153,295,469 new shares on issue, from the original 613,181,877 shares, that are mooted valued at 3.7cps. The incentive is if the holders take up their entitlement they will be issued a 1 - 4 option which is due in 28/3/22 upon payment of 8.4cps. So to remain with the same share of SOLG (10.6%) through their ownership of DGR shares, they must buy 25% more shares at half the price of current share value. Most posters on Australian Discussion Forum, Hot Copper, believe that this CR will hold the value of DGR shares to the new issue price of around 3.7 cents until at least 21 May. Guess who is underwriting this Capital Raising and who will buy all new shares not taken up and for the risk of doing this under writing, charges 5% from the $5.67 million (Aus) raised.... $283,500 going to Mather. So while SOLG and Cornerstone shareholders see impressive increases reflecting more true value, DGR holders are looking down the barrel of an initial 50% decrease for the next month. Mather's response "Buy SOLG" will be etched on my memory for a long long time. How long has he be planning this....likely weeks if not months?
It is more likely that Mather will not buy shares directly through Market but rather use his nearly outstanding $9million (as of 30/6/2000) in SOLG shares ($3m per year since beginning 2018 F/Y) BUT buy directly from company with shares allocated to him in next fund raise. $9million will get him a lot more shares direct from Company than what he would get if company was to buy him the shares in open market. Won't have to pay brokerage or stamp duty and company won't have to fork out $9m from their limited cash reserves. $9m in US dollars is roughly 7.5M pounds (UK) and 5 shares at 20p equals around 37.5million SOLG shares. Try and buy 37 shares on open market and it would be expected that it will cost a lot more than 20p per share.
It is conceivable that Mather will own a minimum of 10% of SOLG in the forseeable future. He already owns roughly 5% with his holding of 90million shares. He also owns 20% of DGR which owns 10% of SOLG with 200 million solg shares., i.e., Mather's share equals another 40million. He has been granted 35 million of the 60p options and I expect him to double that (guess who will allocate them) so I estimate he will grant himself (as Chairman of the Compensation Committee) some 70million Dec'21 options. And, and, and by end of June this year he has $9million (presumably US dollars) of 3 X $3million of SOLG shares from his yearly bonus where he can buy SOLG shares. Lets say he buys at 15p or 20cents (US) he can buy on today's price another 40 million shares (taking that he buys them straight from company and is not given a better deal or incentive discount by company per share). Therefore, he could own 90m + 40m + 70m (60p options) + 40m (from salary package) = 240million shares. I concede that the 70m options will only be bought by him should an take over offer occur over the 60p mark. If a takeover occurs only for the Alpala resource then Mather could buy his allotted options, knowing he has total control of how much a dividend would be paid to shareholders, and he retains his 240million shares in all the rest of the SOLG interests. 240m shares equates to around 12% of SOLG with some 2.1billion shares (including options) on issue. This is how our company is and has been run.
Mather has a nest egg of over $7.5 million awaiting since 2018 ($3million per year) which is to be used in his salary package to buy SOLG shares. When this extra $3m was voted on the shares where in 30-40pence range but no shares have been purchased. Last 15 months of practically no announcements has seen share value plummeted to current levels and he is now in a position to buy 70million from this increased salary package alone. Watch this space because he will continue to plunder SOLG for all he can!
Just a timely reminder that Mather is owed $3million dollars (presumably US dollars) of solg shares commencing 2018 F/Y and every year thereafter together with his $600,000 pay package p/y. There has been no announcement of him purchasing any shares from this now $7.5million plus unused fund. He can buy a lot more shares now than before. And I do mean a significant number. That 90 million SOLG shares he already owns outright might increase very very rapidly with the cash he is owed, let alone the 40p and 60p options he has and will probably allocate himself. Otherwise a very good, though well overdue, announcement.
- Mather is being paid roughly $4.5 per year from his directorships (roughly $86k per week) ..not in a hurry!
- Mather has been allocated 35 million of the 50 million Dec '21 60 p options already allocated by SOLG ...has 20 months to go;
- Mather has a history of allocating himself the majority of options allocated by company under 'Employee Incentive scheme' so he has a further incentive still to be realized by Dec'21 (tens of millions to be allocated to himself).....so again no hurry;
The other companies Mather is Director/CEO/Chairman of have all collapsed in value, most by 90+% with the least by over 50% in the last 12 months (DGR and SOLG) and he still gets paid handsomely....no hurry again;
- Mather has a history of buying shares in companies he is is director/CEO/Chairman of, at these collapsed prices and further caps up with issuing bonus options etc to add to the gravey pot (SOLG started at 50p and most of Mather's 90 million shares were granted to himself for 0 pence or low pence cost and DGR is another prime example of this).
- Refer to the various discussion forums in Australia and England and see what shareholders think of the decisions of the various companies that he is director/CEO/chairman of over the last couple of years. Companies that are complete failures or next to broke with takeover bids expected from friendly significant investors;
- Mather has conducted himself in secrecy (only a limited few can know and they are not telling) with his no tell management and control of SOLG. Suggest BHP and Newcrest might. Target dates are changed. 10-15 operational drilling rigs with next to nil results over the last 12 months not released. Spent 80 million pounds with office administration and director and employees costs going up nearly 200% (remember his $3million of shares per year alone to himself) in the last 12mths alone. (refer June's Financial Report).
And the presentations are full of facts and assertions from mostly 6 plus months ago. Rocks samples and cuttings have been released of new permits areas but nothing about licenses to explore and being drilled are released, except a belief that they might have drilled on one of the permit areas with no depth mentioned but plenty of horizontal exploration specified.....perhaps they have walked but not necessary drilled into them could be asserted.
All while we wait and wait while the world economies and share markets collapse. Mather has 20 months (Dec'21)before his next big pickup in his self deserved worth can be realized......and what a payout that will be should a takeover or buy occur at 60 pence or more. And he is only being paid $85,000,000 per week......he is definitely in no hurry!
Can anyone assist with advising when Announcement made by SOLG as to approvals given to start drilling in areas outside of Alpala and Casabel? Cannot recall when any announcement made as to any approvals being given by Govt. If Ecuador Government has given SOLG permits to drill when did SOLG receive these, how many are being currently drilled and with how many of the drilling rigs? There has been an announcement that drilling has been 'curtailed' in Alpala and Casabel, via Half Yearly Financial Report, but no explanation of what our 10 plus drilling rigs are doing at this moment. From memory all of the recent announcements have not reported any drilling but have shown findings of rock and cut samples from horizontal exploration and not vertical drill results. If in fact we have discontinued all drilling then one would expect that other exploration companies would be employing the drilling rigs and their workers onto other non-SOLG sites.
Matehr and Company Secretary are both employed doing the same for both DGR and SOLG (and all the other DGR daughter companies). They probably forgot which company they were releasing the information for, using the same office in Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Snippets of information together with minor changes to timings, the whens and wheres, allows them to bamboozal the market and shareholders. They know exactly what they are doing.......part of Mather's strategy.
And, Novicehunter, it went from listing price at 50 pence to 1.38 pence all under Mather and most of current directors. Mather picked up 90 odd million for what price? Look up "SOLG Directors Deals' at top of this page and you will see. Let alone how many more at 2-3 cents when he had all the information in his hands. His numbers went up substantially with no acknowledgement via announcement. How many of these shares were bought from shareholders who thought they had value at 50p. He still hasn't claimed his $3million bonus shares from 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years all while collecting $600k per year after it was decided he needed a pay increase. May be waiting for share price to be at a value where he can obtain more shares for his buck!