HOME
Overview
Aim of the Company
2017 Results
2016 Results
Lance O'Neill and CCCAL Who are City and Claremont?
Shareholder Return
What's the End Game?
Conclusion

Directors

Lance O'Neill
Benjamin Edwards (appt 2016)
Nigel Duxbury (resigned 2016)

Info

About this Site
Financial Performance
The Accounts
Major Shareholders
e-primefinancial Debacle
Relevant Links

Investments

Syntaxis
Calix Limited
MediaZest
Alba Minerals
Andes Energia

Shareholder Return

The return to shareholders really needs to be split into 2 parts; the return to the directors and the return to the ordinary shareholders.

DIRECTORS

When calculating the return to directors it is necessary to account for their annual salaries. Unfortunately for minority shareholders the directors' salaries constitute a non-trivial percentage of the company's net asset value. Based on the the last published accounts (2016) the two directors' annual salaries in total comprised 5.5% of the net asset value of the company. Note in previous years the relative percentage was slightly lower since the net asset value was higher. Its also important to note that both O'Neill and Duxbury have, or had, multiple directorships in other businesses and therefore have been clearly working in a part time capacity at EP&F. In fact given EP&F does not have an operating business or any employees but simply makes the occasional small investment in an investee company it would be surprising if the directors actually spend more than a very modest number of hours per week working as directors at EP&F. Let's face it EP&F looks like it could be run from a Starbucks a couple of hours a week.

From the information available in the accounts both Duxbury and O'Neill have each extracted £305,000 in total annual salaries from the company to end of December 2015. According to the news release dated 16/03/2006 Lance O'Neill held 347,120 shares which is approximately 7.4% of the issued share capital. Therefore if we value EP&F at its net asset value as of December 2015 and compare with the net asset value at incorporation, Lance O'Neill's investment in EP&F has lost 45% of its value which is approximately £66,500 (note that in actuality the loss is almost certainly significantly less than this since O'Neill acquired a large part of his shareholding by purchasing shares at a sizeable discount to cash value). So you can argue that O'Neill has effectively gained at least £238,500. Additionally investments and loans by EP&F have helped keep Mediazest, a company from which O'Neill takes a £50,000 salary in his role as non-executive chairman, solvent. EP&F have also invested over £200,000 in Calix, another company where O'Neill sits on the board of directors and presumably takes a salary. It would be a valid question to ask how secure are these current directorships with Mediazest and Calix without the funding from EP&F. Also note that Mr O'Neill managed to sell a large quantity of his personal shareholding in Alba Minerals, 5 million shares, during the time EP&F were taking part in share placings and loaning Alba cash.

Regarding Nigel Duxbury, his shareholding amounted to 10.2% of the company. Therefore at December 2015 the paper loss on his shares equated to approximately £90,000. This is based on EP&F's net asset value at incorporation versus net asset value at December 2015. Again, as with O'Neill, the actual paper loss is probably significantly less than this since a large part of his shareholding was acquired by buying shares at significantly less than book value. As previously stated his accumulated salary is £305,000. Therefore you can argue Duxbury has gained at least £215,500. However Duxbury has also benefited indirectly since EP&F have supported his other directorships at Andes Energia and Alba Minerals by loaning these businesses cash and/or taking equity positions for cash.


ORDINARY SHAREHOLDERS

The return to the ordinary shareholder since the company's inception 12 years ago in 2004 is basically sod-all. There have been no dividends and an inexorable decline in the company's underlying net asset value every year (note there was a profit posted in 2009 but only because of an unexpected profit from a legacy subsidiary). The shares are completely untradeable and are effectively worthless unless you happen to be a director of EP&F, or perhaps its mysterious largest shareholder City & Claremont.

If you are an ordinary shareholder in EP&F then it would be prudent to assume the shares have no value except as a tax loss. Given the performance of the company since listing, and the stranglehold the directors apparently exert over the company, there is absolutely no reason for ordinary shareholders to expect to see a penny back from their original investment.