Origo Partners Sets Up Mongolia Investment Banking JV With Monnis

Origo Partners Sets Up Mongolia Investment Banking JV With Monnis

Origo Partners PLC (OPP.LN), a London-listed private-equity firm based in Beijing, said Wednesday it has formed a Mongolian investment banking joint venture with Monnis International Co., a Mongolian industrial holding company.

The Ulan Bator-headquartered venture, called Resource Investment Capital Ltd., or ResCap, will provide corporate finance advisory services primarily to companies active in or seeking to enter the Mongolian natural resources sector. ResCap will begin trading this month subject to receiving appropriate regulatory approvals and will be chaired by Unenbat Jigjid, former governor of the Bank of Mongolia.

Eric Zurrin, director of metals and mining at UBS AG (UBS) in London, will be joining the investment banking joint venture in due course, Origo Partners said, but didn’t disclose his new role or the exact timing.

Zurrin’s planned move to Mongolia comes after Mongolia, a landlocked country sandwiched between China and Russia, has been stepping up its efforts to mine and develop its abundant resources. In May, ING Groep NV (ING) appointed Howard Lambert as its as head of corporate and investment banking for Mongolia based in Ulan Bator, according to a memo seen then by Dow Jones Newswires. Lambert was previously ING’s head of Asia structured credit trading and was based in Singapore.

“ResCap will be advising Mongolian companies on listings overseas, or finding M&A partners, as well as helping international strategics to enter Mongolia,” said Chris Rynning, chief executive of Origo Partners.

Origo will own 35% of ResCap, with the balance being held by Monnis, private investors, and the company’s management.

Mongolia has some of the world’s largest undeveloped copper, iron-ore and coal deposits, and in the past year, its government has been increasingly receptive toward fundraising by companies with Mongolian assets. Origo Partners estimates that Mongolian companies, both private and state-owned, will need funding totaling around US$25 billion in coming years.

Separately, Origo has stakes in three mining companies in Mongolia, including Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd., which is seeking an international listing, according to people familiar with the deal, as well as stakes in two early-stage coal and copper exploration companies.

-By Nisha Gopalan, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2832-2343; nisha.gopalan@dowjones.com