Did David Bunevacz scam more people?
Colossal characters in chaos
PITY the chaps at Sydney-based Zodiac Capital as they prepare to raise $45 million to float their new venture, Colossal Mining, purchased from some pretty interesting characters in The Philippines.
Colossal’s assets, which include iron-sands deposits in the north and northwest Luzon region, are being transferred from a Filipino company of the same name founded by US-born former decathlete David Bunevacz and Tyrone Ong.
Unfortunately, the long-time business buddies have recently fallen out.
According to the Manila press, Ong is suing Bunevacz for embezzling funds from a cosmetic surgery they own together — Beverley Hills 6750 in Makati City.
While Bunevacz had long been renowned for his generosity — often shouting his staff Starbucks coffees — it was his purchase of a Porsche Cayenne in the same month he bought a new BMW for his wife that raised suspicions.
An external audit unearthed a “glaring misappropriation” of funds by the executive, including a deposit for the BMW, personal travel expenses and private school fees.
Zodiac director Peter Boonen, who is putting the final touches on Colossal Mining’s prospectus, insisted that the founders’ dispute would not affect the acquisition or the float.
Zodiac’s lucky shareholders, including US backers MDM Group and Key Capital Corporation, will be offered the right to purchase Colossal shares for 2c each, compared to the proposed public offer price of 20-25c a share.
Boonen pointed out that Bunevacz resigned from being Colossal Mining Corporation’s chief operating officer in December.
“We’re after the assets — not the people,” he said. “And we’ve got no issue with the credibility of Tyrone.”
But Ong, who remains president of the company, has had his own scrape with the law. He was subpoenaed by the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation in January to defend a manhandling complaint lodged by Bunevacz. Ong and four others have been accused of forcibly taking Bunevacz’s Porsche, an expensive watch and mobile phone.
While Zodiac has a few acquisitions on the go right now, let’s hope they spend a little extra time on this one.