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RP Explorer Master Fund

RP Explorer Master Fund
Based in London
Active in DR Congo
Targeted base metals

RP Explorer Master Fund/RP EMF, is a London-based hedge fund, managed by RP Capital Partners Cayman Islands Limited.

In May 2007, along with Glencore International AG, it set up an SPV “special purpose vehicle”, along with three highly dubious private shareholders (Beny Steinmetz - see BSG ; the Gertner family, and Dan Gertler), between them owning 72% of Nikanor PLC, in an attempt to buy out the company. Nikanor PLC has a lease (though this is currently under review by the government of DR Congo for alleged licence infringements) on what could be one of the he richest copper-cobalt deposits in Africa. The takeover failed - thanks to opposition by founding shareholders. [“Saved in the time of Nik?” London Calling, MAC website, 19 May 2007].

A few months later, RP EMF stated that it was strongly opposed to a bid by a company called Camec (see Capital Group Companies and Billy Rautenbach) to buy out Katanga Mining Limited - another suspect player in DR Congo, in which RP EMF had a major (15.72%) shareholding. RP EMF believed that “this unsolicited offer of Camec's shares undervalues the potential of Katanga and the quality of its assets”.

The takeover was supported by a notorious 67-year-old Belgian national, George Forrest (of the Forrest Group) – who himself held 24% of Katanga Mining [FT 8 November 2007].

The bid was probably also supported by Glencore which had an exclusive contract to market the output from both Nikanor and Katanga’s mines. An enlarged Katanga Mining could, according to the Financial Times, “become Africa’s largest copper producer by 2011” - as well as “a future target for a big group such as the acquisitive Xstrata, which is 40 per cent-owned by Glencore.” [FT ibid] (since reduced to 35%).