We do not propose to list all completed Trifin projects here but provide an illustrative sample.
Like any group accepting challenging tasks there has been disappointment and even failure. In some cases we have recommended not to invest, or not to continue funding projects. Smaller initial investment in start up or early-stage projects has tested the waters, with milestones to trigger further funding. Despite investing in visits to North Korea and Serbia we remain on the sidelines.
We have extensive Russian experience, contacts and resources but nevertheless our Russian / CIS projects are most often late-stage asset recovery / salvage where the situation has become difficult and complete writeoffs are on the cards. Often projects start with an investor need for an objective perspective on a troubled asset. We mostly operate in higher-risk environments due to the nature of the assets or technology, the complicated history of the investment, unfamiliar legal frameworks, personnel issues and cultural mismatches - so losses are to be expected along with much greater returns when successful. In several cases, our current projects have been active for over ten years, which limits the historical category post-Tiger.
Precious Shipping, Bangkok, Thailand (1999-2001)
Following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Thailand’s largest listed shipowner Precious Shipping found itself highly geared just as freight rates collapsed. Their excellent management was proactive, creating a Creditor Committee on which Mr Fox served as Secretary representing Eurobond holders. The Company was restructured, creditors repaid and equityholders enjoyed a 50-fold return. Part of one of Tiger’s BUY reports, from October 2000, remains on their website to this day: See http://www.preciousshipping.com/InvestorRelations/AnalystReports/tabid/92/language/en-US/Default.aspx
Central Asian Investment Company, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (1998-2003)
We were approached by unitholders of CAIC, a small fund created to invest in Central Asia and Siberia, to help assess, manage and realise their investment. Having done this for some months we successfully acquired the main assets on a profitsharing basis and then bid for CAIC itself around cash value but providing warrant-based upside to unitholders. Finally we liquidated the assets, negotiated mutual closure for all parties, paid out warrantholders and liquidated CAIC.
Florentis Ltd, Frome, United Kingdom (2005-2011)
We negotiated and funded acquisition for cash and other equity of Florentis Ltd, a small team of highly-skilled specialised programmers led by Nick Mettyear. They were writing static and dynamic biometric software for sale worldwide including UK councils for postal ballot voting, and Far Eastern banks and insurers. After six years of supporting, managing, monitoring and reporting for investors we agreed and closed a profitable sale of the business to a hardware partner.
Voltage IP Ltd (ASX listed, ticker: VIP), Melbourne, Australia (2003-2009)
We initially invested in this company (then named eGlobal, later Securix) through convertible bonds, interested in their Insurenet project. The corporate data security and disaster recovery business was sold and we became majority shareholders of the ASX listed entity. Mr Fox as Chairman with Messrs Palmer and Kaushik on the board, handling the corporate duties and frameworks of a listed company. We looked at a number of possible acquisitions and eventually exited VIP with lessons learned and a stake in Insurenet. ( later, IX Group)