Padbury Mining says it has finance in place from a mystery backer to fund its port development. Photo: Erin JonassonFormer hair regrowth king Roland Bleyer (aka Husner) is emerging as a key player in the mysterious $6.4 billion funding deal for iron ore tiddler Padbury Mining.
Sydney-based Mr Bleyer, who has been involved in a spate of failed funding deals, is involved with a collection of holding companies in Australia believed to be linked to the Padbury offer.
The Bleyer matrix of companies is believed to have cited the Padbury deal to other targets as an example of its bona fides and lending capacity.
Padbury last week surprised the market when it announced it had secured $6.4 billion to finance the stalled Oakajee port and rail project in WA, without revealing the funder’s identity. Before the announcement of the funding deal Padbury had a market capitalisation of about $70 million.
It was quickly forced into a trading halt by market regulators and has since delayed publishing more details of the deal. It will remain in a trading halt until at least April 23.
Mr Bleyer’s network of companies includes Alliance Resources Group and Superkite, which present as private equity.
They are believed to have targeted vulnerable companies with offers to source large amounts of money.
The network is often vague about its backers, but has been known to tell companies it represents a ”very high-net-worth Australian investor”.
Favoured targets have been cash-strapped miners with good projects in the pipeline, or with big debt, say mining industry sources.
Meetings are held in cafes or at the target companies’ offices, never at the ”private equity” firms’ offices.
The network encourages target companies to provide finance as part of the deals. In one example, Mr Bleyer’s network encouraged a target company to put money into the account of Superkite’s lawyers to cover fees for arranging the finance.
Some companies approached by the network did not meet Mr Bleyer but dealt with representatives of the various holding companies. Mr Bleyer also uses the name ”Husner”.
Attempts by BusinessDay to contact Mr Bleyer on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Padbury has said its mystery backer is a ”wealthy Australian”. On Thursday Padbury executives declined to comment when asked if Mr Bleyer was behind the financing.
After a week of saying it needed more time to reveal its financier, Padbury said on Thursday that it was now seeking information regarding the mystery backer’s ”capacity to meet their funding obligations under the agreement”.
Mr Bleyer has been making headlines since 1985. He has previously claimed he is a Knight of Malta.
He has also reportedly bought an honorary doctorate and professorship from a university in Sicily.
A blog in his name opens with, ”Holding the title of Knight Grand Cross, the Order of St John since 1985 for his worldwide charitable contributions Australian resident Roland Bleyer functions as a successful philanthropist and flourishing businessman.”
He has been involved in litigation in the US and Australia over disputes arising from failed deals.
Just last month, a company linked to Mr Bleyer, Superkite, lost a Supreme Court case in New South Wales, in which money was ordered to be returned to an aged care company, Craigcare.
The court heard that Mr Bleyer claimed he could arrange up to $500 million in funding for Craigcare.
A Superkite subsidiary, Alliance Super Holdings, last year struck a $260 million financing deal with another iron ore junior, FairStar Resources, for its Yilgarn iron ore project, which ultimately fell over.
Mr Bleyer has a strong online presence. In one of his blogs he is described as ”a talented and ambitious entrepreneur”, who has ”found success in multiple international business interests”.
He claims to have started his career ”in New Zealand as a hair and skin treatment specialist while also developing interests in fashion and manufacturing”.
Websites in his name claim he specialised in setting up businesses in trichology, hair regrowth, skin care, ”and multiple investment concerns in Boston, Massachusetts, that engineered financial products designed to correct problems created by the global financial crisis”.
His operations have been mainly in Australia and the US.