New Zealand-born billionaire Richard Chandler has talked up the responsible investment approach he operates with as his investment vehicle undertakes due diligence on Tasmanian timber company Gunns.
In response to the "high degree of public interest" Richard Chandler Corp (RCC) said it's evaluating a potential A$150 million ($192 million) stake in ASX-listed Gunns, against the backdrop of its own "socially responsible investment framework".
That includes whether social value is created, such as establishing jobs and improving sustainable environmental practices, attracting local support, imposing strong corporate governance, making appropriate financial returns and setting up conservative debt levels, it said.
"The Richard Chandler Corporation notes the progress that Gunns Limited has made in some of these areas in recent years," the company said. A further statement will be made once due diligence is completed.
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The investment is part of a proposed A$280 million capital raising for Gunns that would give RCC a cornerstone stake in the company and tap shareholders for more funds. The shares fell 2.6 per cent to A18.5c on the ASX yesterday.
Chandler co-founded Sovereign Global Investment with his brother Christopher in 1986, primarily investing in emerging markets. In 2006, Sovereign demerged, and Richard Chandler established Orient Global, which is now known as RCC.
That vehicle is split into two arms, the Creative World Group for social investment and the Capital group which invests in a range of industries.