PracticeConsultingEXCLUSIVE: Petra may seek New York float

EXCLUSIVE: Petra may seek New York float

Petra Diamonds could seek a listing on the New York stock exchange followingGrant Thornton's eleventh hour refusal to act as nominated advisor inthe London listing of controversial diamond mining venture Oryx.

After a meeting with the London Stock Exchange, the top ten accountants last Friday told Petra that it would no longer act as nominated advisor in theLondon listing bid by Oryx, which operates a £1bn mining concession in the wartorn Congo.

The decision scuppered yesterday’s planned reverse takeover and listing of Oryxthat would have seen Alternative Investment Market listed Petra adoptthe Oryx name.

Foreign office minister Peter Hain has criticised Oryx plans to operate adiamond venture a country in a state of civil war.

This afternoon talks continued behind closed doors between Petra, Oryx and itslawyers on the next course of action after the Grant Thornton’s last minutethreat to resign as nominated advisors if the listing proceeded.

Petra will have to decide whether to stick with Grant Thornton and drop thelisting, or appoint another financial adviser which could delay the listing for months and could jeopardise its own AIM status.

Today’s discussions have also centred Petra pursuing a judicial review of GrantThornton’s last minute action.

A Petra source said: ‘The discussions will also look at the possibility of aquote on a another market, such as the New York stock exchange.’

He called on the London Stock Exchange ‘to get off its backside and start doingsomething for the shareholders’.

‘The government has got to come forward and start to be honest about who hasbeen leant on,’ he added.

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