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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
City Spy

Has Crispin Odey struck gold?

Golden Odey

It was not a great 2023 for City stalwart Crispin Odey. The former Harrow and Oxford boy was kicked out of his own business, Odey Asset Management, before the firm eventually closed down after investors yanked their cash out of it as fast as they could.

 But few will shed a tear for Odey. An investigation by the FT found at least 20 women who came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him, of which more than a dozen were former employees. The experiences they reported to the paper make for horrifying reading.

 The FCA continues to investigate his behaviour at the firm in light of these allegations, all of which he denies.

 But despite being among the least revered men in the Square Mile, the streets look to be paved with gold for Odey in 2024.

 Spy was surprised to note that the disgraced financier remains the boss of a precious metals investor named Tri-Star Resources. It was listed on AIM before being taken private in 2020, with a firm called Odey European now controlling between 25-50% of the business, according to Companies House.

 Tri-Star’s biggest investment is a gold and antimony-producing plant in Oman named SPMP, founded in 2014 and co-owned with the sovereign wealth fund overseen by His Majesty the Sultan of Oman.

 Production at the site has suffered years of setbacks. Tri-Star’s shareholders from its listed days are able to flog their stock at six-monthly auctions – and the share price has sunk some 70% since they began in 2021.

 But Odey sounded chipper in his latest director’s update, filed late last year. Production at SPMP would reach 40% capacity by the fourth quarter, its boss told him, and could hit 70% in 2024. They are even producing small quantities of gold now, he gloated.

 That news seems to have pushed up the shares. In the next auction, which concludes in a few days, Tri-Star shareholders now want more than three times as much as at the shares fetched at the last one, which would value the company at around £15 million.

 So Odey could end up feeling pretty flush again soon. Or maybe things aren’t as shiny as they look. A source at SPMP told Spy that production has stalled, and the company is reviewing its options for a restart. Oh dear.

(Evening Standard)

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