Wednesday 29 November 2017

Noble: overstating Yancoal's value? (2)

I have written several times about Noble Group, and in particular the "attacks" made by Iceberg Research.

My attention was drawn to the "strange" valuation of the valuation of its shares in Yancoal, I wrote:

  • Noble owns 13% of their shares;
  • Yancoal is listed and the 13% of the market cap is worth about $11M;
  • Yet the investment is in the books of Noble for $614M;
  • Noble doesn't seem to have significant control over the company
That looks very weird, to put it mildly.

Iceberg has written an open letter to Noble Groups's creditors, one snippet:

You suffered losses because a small group of people inside Noble and its auditor, EY, intentionally misrepresented the balance sheet and the performance of this company. For instance, an associate, Yancoal, was overvalued by $480m or 48 times. A few weeks ago, Noble finally capitulated, recognising the impairment.

The authorities should really look into this, that old valuation of $614M looks very, very wrong. That valuation was approved by the board of directors and the external auditors, surely shareholders and creditors based their investment decisions on this kind of information.

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