Firms liaise on Cornish tin mine share offer

Cornish commercial firm Stephens & Scown has teamed up with fellow Law Group member, London firm Lawrence Graham, on the u1.8 million public share offer for South Crofty, owners of Cornwall's last working tin mine.

Such significance was attached locally to the Redruth mine that local people have made up 20 per cent of the overall investment, through a mass of u200 share blocks.

Stephens & Scown has produced what banker-turned trainee solicitor Scott Mitchell terms a “hearts and minds” prospectus.

Without the enthusiasm of the 1,500 local investors the mine would have closed. Their share purchases ensured the u1 million in minimum subscriptions needed for the share issue was achieved.

There was no bank underwriting, although two foreign corporates invested.

The firm also negotiated waivers of u30 million in loans from RTZ, the mine's previous owners, and the Department of Trade and Industry, on the strength of meeting the minimum subscription level.

The mine, like most tin-mining worldwide, is loss making because of current commodity prices.

Legal advice was provided mainly by Stephens & Scown. Lawrence Graham was asked to help on specialist matters including Takeover Panel and banking work, and compliance with the Financial Services Act and prospectus law.