Primary Corp.
TSX : PYC

Primary Corp.

March 02, 2012 02:25 ET

Primary Corp. Provides Update

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2012) - Primary Corp. (TSX:PYC) ("Primary" or the "Company") announces that it has recorded an unaudited total comprehensive loss for the year ended December 31, 2011 of $10.4 million.

Markets rebounded in Q4, especially in the energy sector. The broad TSX gained 3.59%, with the Energy Composite returning 11.41% while the Materials Composite lost 4.29%. Materials were impacted mostly by precious metals, but base metals also underperformed.

The Primary portfolio maintained a defensive stance despite the improvement in markets. Cash positions were more than half of the portfolio as the Company did not find any acceptable senior secured debt offerings with warrants during the quarter. Primary's broad macro view remains unchanged despite improvements in the European sovereign debt situation. The Company continues to believe we are in the midst of a global sovereign debt crisis with Europe, being only one of the three problem areas. Japan and the U.S. also have elevated Debt/GDP ratios and the Company is of the view that the world economies will remain volatile for investment until the U.S. is on a sustainable path to a lower Debt/GDP ratio.

The portfolio produced a small positive return in the quarter, although the NAV per share declined slightly from $6.03 to $5.96 after accruing the quarterly dividend payment of $.08125 per share. This reflects the portfolio's defensive stance and Primary's desire to have ready cash available for the pre production resource projects in which Primary is designed to invest. The one transaction in which Primary invested and closed in Q4 was Cline Mining. The investment has performed well and Primary expects Cline to draw down on its line of credit sometime in the first half of 2012. The common shares of Cline were trading at approximately $1.10 when the transaction was signed and closed the year at $1.61 near the $1.75 strike price, and have been trading in the $2.00 range early in 2012.

The Company's exposure to the energy sector has been weighted to debt rather than equity and this has hurt somewhat as oil prices have steadily risen. While it is expected that this will continue in the short term, history suggests that $100+ oil and $4-5/gallon gasoline in the U.S. have led to demand destruction and weaker growth in the U.S. economy. The Company expects markets to generally move higher over the next couple of months, but also to experience significant volatility in the second half of 2012.

Given Primary's broad macro view it is retaining a defensive stance and continues to look for senior secured debt with equity warrants for early stage or pre-production resource projects. The Company believes that the risk reward characteristics of these investments are very attractive. It is important to note though that these transactions tend to come available when markets are very difficult and these companies do not have the ability to raise equity capital at acceptable prices.

Neutron Energy Investment

The shareholders of Neutron Energy, Inc. ("Neutron"), including Primary Corp., have accepted a term sheet under which Uranium Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE) will acquire the shares of Neutron and amalgamate the two companies. As a result of this agreement, Neutron shareholders will receive URRE shares in exchange for Neutron shares. Primary holds approximately 24% of the outstanding shares of Neutron and will receive approximately 918,000 shares of URRE. As a result of this transaction and the current valuation of URRE shares to be received, Primary will record a loss of $7.7M ($0.41 per share) in the first quarter of 2012 associated with the valuation of this investment. Neutron is a legacy investment from Primary's non-public portfolio.

About Primary Corp.

Primary trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PYC. Primary is focused on natural resource lending. Primary's business is primarily directed to investing in public and private debt securities of and making term loans (including bridge and mezzanine debt) to issuers in a broad range of natural resource sectors, including energy, base and precious metals and other commodities, and issuers involved in exploration and development, and may also include financing other resource‐related businesses and investing in public and private equity and quasi‐equity securities. Primary seeks to generate income primarily from its lending activities, while taking advantage of additional upside through equity participation in the companies which it finances.

Marret Asset Management Inc. is responsible for implementing Primary's investment strategy and managing Primary's investment portfolio. The statements made herein regarding markets and economic outlook are those of Primary's manager, Marret Asset Management Inc.

About Marret Asset Management Inc.

Marret is an employee-owned firm based in Toronto and has approximately $6 billion of assets under management. Marret and its experienced team of investment professionals led by Barry Allan specialize exclusively in fixed income and, particularly, in high yield debt strategies.

To receive Primary Corp. news, please subscribe to Marketwire's free news service (www.marketwire.com).

Forward-Looking Information

This news release includes certain information that may constitute "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements relating to the Company's future outlook and anticipated events or results and statements regarding the Company's future financial position, business strategy, budgets, financial results, plans and objectives and statements regarding the market and economic conditions and commodity prices. Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks include, but are not limited to, market and economic conditions and the other risks identified in the Company's annual information form under the heading "Risk Factors". There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. All forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of management and information available to management as at the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Contact Information

  • Primary Corp.
    Robert Pollock
    Chief Executive Officer
    416.214.9672