Nat Rothschild's mining investment group Vallar to raise £600m via IPO

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Vallar, the investment group set up by Nat Rothschild to invest in mining assets, announced yesterday that it intends to float on the London Stock Exchange and spend as much as £5bn on projects within the next two years.

The group has been set up to take advantage of what Mr Rothschild and his partner James Campbell, the former head of Anglo American's base metals division, believe are strengthening global commodity prices. Vallar said the firm was hoping to raise £600m, offering shares at £10 each.

The group expects to have an enterprise value of between £2bn and £5bn and to make its first investment within two years. In a statement, it said that it would focus on the regions "where it can leverage the extensive network and strong prior operating and investment experience of the Vallar team". It added that it would look for assets in the Americas, Russia, Eastern Europe and Australia.

Mr Rothschild declined to comment on the implications of the Australian Government's proposed 40 per cent profits tax on the resources industry. A spokesman for the group said that the levy would suppress valuations.

A scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, Mr Rothschild will personally invest about £150m in Vallar. His mining industry experience extends to sitting on the advisory board of Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold miner. He is also close to Oleg Deripaska, head of the Russian aluminium giant Rusal.

Last year, Mr Rothschild was caught in a row between Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary, and the Chancellor, George Osborne, who had allegedly asked Mr Deripaska to donate £50,000 to the Conservative Party; the Tories deny the claim.

"The proposition we have put together combines the ability to source the exciting investment opportunities that exist within the metals, mining and resources sector with a flexible structure and decision-making process that will allow us to react more quickly than our competitors," he said. "We believe the fundamentals of the commodities sector make a compelling case for investment."

Commodity prices have surged in the last 12 months, as the global economy has recovered. In recent weeks, however, prices have dipped owing to concerns over demand in China and, more recently, the US.

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