Red Leopard reported progress on its acquisition of a Colombian coal mining project on Friday, but at the same time warned shareholders that its AIM listing was about to be cancelled as the transaction was taking significantly longer than initially anticipated.
The firm had announced the assignment agreement with Capital Resources and Sloane Energy Group in August last year, which was at the time in the process of acquiring a coal mining project near La Loma, in the Department of Cesar, Republic of Colombia, known as La Luna.
It contemplated that, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, Red Leopard would acquire the project in consideration for the issuance of new ordinary shares
with a minimum value of $180m.
As the proposed acquisition would have constituted a reverse takeover pursuant to AIM Rule 14, trading in the company's shares was suspended pending the publication of the required AIM admission document and shareholder approval of the proposed acquisition.
"The company is pleased to report significant progress in advancing the transaction, including substantial work on the legal and financial due diligence and obtaining the necessary competent persons report on the project," the board said in its statement.
"However, conclusion of the proposed acquisition will take longer than originally envisaged and will not be completed by 19 February - the date on which trading in the company's shares will be cancelled by AIM - principally due to the complex nature of a project of this size."
The directors said they believed the proposed acquisition, if completed, would be "transformational" for the company and its shareholders, and would continue to work closely with Sloane, Capital and their respective advisers to complete the necessary documentation to execute the proposed acquisition.
"It is contemplated that completion of the proposed acquisition will be conditional on the company undertaking an IPO, with a view to being admitted to trading on AIM in conjunction with the execution of a simultaneous fundraise, the proceeds of which are intended to be used to finance the development of the enlarged group going forward.
"The company is committed to completing the proposed acquisition and seeking admission to AIM as soon as practicable."
In accordance with AIM Rule 41, cancellation of the admission of Red Leopard's ordinary shares on AIM would become effective from 0700 GMT on 19 February.