Aberdeen International Inc.

Aberdeen International Inc.

October 26, 2005 08:00 ET

Aberdeen International Inc. Announces the Appointment of New President and CEO

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 26, 2005) - Aberdeen International Inc. (TSX VENTURE:AAB) ("Aberdeen") is pleased to announce that Mr. George D. Faught has been appointed President, CEO and a Director of the Company effective November 1, 2005.

Mr. Faught is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of senior management experience. He has served as the Chief Financial Officer with publicly traded companies in the natural resources, financial services and pharmaceutical industries. Mr. Faught has broad financial management, corporate development and operating experience and has served as the CFO for North American Palladium Ltd. a mid-tier Platinum Group Metal producer, Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co Ltd, an integrated base metals producer and William Resources Inc, an international gold producer.

"George Faught brings excellent leadership and experience to Aberdeen. His extensive experience in the resource sector, both in Canada and internationally, will be a strong addition to the technical and management team. He will lead the team to build Aberdeen into an exciting company providing "secure royalty based convertible debenture loans" to companies where either equity markets are weak or as an alternative to bank debt financing and the subsequent negative hedging that is often associated with such financings." stated Stan Bharti, Chairman and Director.

Mr. Tony Wonnacott, Aberdeen's current President stated "We are very pleased to have an individual of Mr. Faught's particular experience and broad financial and technical background to lead the company forward into an exciting new direction".

As previously announced, Aberdeen has created a new financial instrument that provides secured convertible loans where the coupon is paid through a combination of a fixed interest rate and a Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty which is tied to the price of gold and escalates as the price of gold moves higher. The unique concept, developed by Aberdeen, has been termed a "SECURED CONVERTIBLE ROYALTY DEBENTURE" or "SECROD" and is especially attractive for companies in higher risk countries where conventional equity may not be easily available. Traditional bank loans are often punitive for these companies because they force the company to hedge and thus take away a substantial portion of the upside for investors. The Aberdeen structure, with SECROD, on the other hand, provides leverage as the price of gold moves higher and is not punitive to the mining company whilst increasing the returns to Aberdeen shareholders.

The first such transaction, with Simmers and Jack, a South African listed gold producing company (share code SIM) was recently announced by Aberdeen for US$ 10 million. The first tranche of this transaction of US$5 million has been completed and Aberdeen is now receiving a gold NRS royalty, effective September 2005, giving the Company positive cash flow. The Simmers deal provides Aberdeen with a royalty ranging from about 2% NSR at current gold prices and escalates to 4.75% at gold prices of US$750 per ounce on the Northwest Operations in South Africa.

Pursuant to the terms of the Company's Stock Option Plan, Mr. Faught has been granted 500,000 common share options at $0.69 per share, subject to regulatory approval.


In addition to Mr. Faught, the Board and Management of Aberdeen consists of the following individuals:

Stan Bharti, Chairman - Mr. Bharti has over 25 years of experience in operations, public markets and finance. Over the last ten years Mr. Bharti has been involved in acquiring, restructuring, and financing. Mr. Bharti has raised over $200 million in public markets over the last decade. His experience in public markets includes acquisitions of companies in Europe, Australia and North America. He is a Professional Mining Engineer and holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from Moscow, Russia and University of London, England.

Gerald McCarvill, Vice Chairman - Mr. McCarvill has more than 20 years experience in the financial sector holding senior positions with major investment firms including as a member of the executive committee of Wood Gundy. Most recently, Mr. McCarvill was CEO of McCarvill Corporation, a diversified financial services company and previously was CEO of Repadre Capital Corporation, a mining royalty company.

Tom Tough, Director - Mr. Tough is a geologist with over 30 years experience.

Stephen Woodhead, Chief Financial Officer - Mr. Woodhead, who replaces Ms. Battiston who recently resigned, is a senior financial executive with over a decade of experience in the natural resource and public finance sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Previously, he worked for the Department of Finance in South Africa and as the corporate financial manager for Trans Hex Group Limited, a South African diamond producer and exploration company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Mr. Woodhead relocated from Cape Town to Toronto in 1997 to establish and manage the Canadian corporate headquarters of Trans Hex International Ltd.

Tony Wonnacott, Corporate Secretary - Mr. Wonnacott is a Toronto-based corporate lawyer who has gained vast experience working with a large number of publicly traded companies, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange. Previously, he worked with the Toronto law firm McMillan Binch, LLP from May 1999 to March 2003. Mr. Wonnacott obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (cum laude) from St. Mary's University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University. He has also completed the Canadian Securities Course. Mr. Wonnacott is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.


Aberdeen International Inc. is a Canadian Exploration and Royalty Company trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol AAB. As announced in the Company's press release of August 22, 2005, Aberdeen has entered into an agreement with Simmer and Jack Mines, Limited ("Simmers"), a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (Share code SIM), to provide Simmers with a loan facility of up to US$10 million in two tranches of US$5 million to acquire the Northwest gold assets, comprising the Buffelsfontein (Buffels) and Hartebeesfontein (Harties) gold mines, approximately 100 km from Johannesburg, South Africa. Aberdeen has completed the first US$5 million of this transaction.

By providing the loan, Aberdeen will gain a right of first refusal on all future Simmers financings involving project acquisitions and growth that require capital. Simmers estimates that the total acquisition and start up requirements for the Northwest operations alone will be in the order of about US$10 million. After the first year of the loan, Aberdeen will have the option to convert the Loan to common shares of Simmers (at 0.80 Rand per share), giving Aberdeen further leverage to what was once one of the best South African gold operations. Simmers stated strategy to acquire undervalued assets and, with a strong management team, to make them profitable, could lead to additional transactions that would turn Aberdeen into a premier royalty company in South Africa.

Besides Aberdeen's intention to expand its Royalty portfolio in addition to the loan described above, the Company also holds several prospective exploration properties in a Canada and oil and gas interests in the United States.


Contact Information

  • Aberdeen International Inc.
    Tony Wonnacott
    (416) 861-5879