During World Wars 1&2 the British Government shipped gold bullion to pay for munitions and goods. The estimated present day value of these shipments is circa 300 Billion pounds. During both wars, some 7500 merchant ships were sunk and our research has identified more than 700 to have been specific gold & silver carriers.
- A team of salvage experts seek funding for operation to recover lost gold
- The business is based on 25 years of research by archivists and archaeologists
- Britannia’s Gold is looking to raise £5 million and the minimum investment is £1k
- The first shipwrecks to be targeted are in 500m of water off the coast of Ireland
The great majority of shipments were carried out by merchant ships under the direction of HMG; approximately 5000 of these were sunk in WW1 and a further 2500 in WW2, many of which were designated “Official Gold Carriers.”
The approximate attrition rate of merchant ships during both wars is estimated at 60%. Although HMG introduced War Risk Insurance during both World Wars, this only covered non Treasury and some BoE gold – HMG gold was not insured.
The majority of these gold shipments were carried by the merchant fleet under Government direction. During both wars, some 7500 merchant ships were sunk with great loss of life. Britannia’s Gold Ltd. (BGL), a British company, has been established to recover a certain number of these cargoes and return them to the UK for the benefit of the Government (HMG), Investors and Merchant Marine Charities.
Britannia’s Gold LTD has been established to finance the recovery of targeted cargoes and return them to the UK for the benefit of the Government, Investors and Merchant Marine Charities.
A team of salvage experts planning to recover gold shipments sunk during the World Wars have launched an equity fundraising drive, offering private investors a stake in their multi-billion pound treasure hunt.
Britannia’s Gold is looking to raise £5 million to fund a salvage operation to recover the gold from wartime wrecks in the North Atlantic.
The fundraising is being managed by Angel Investors Club, whose chairman, Philip Reid, also chairs Britannia’s Gold.
The minimum investment is £1,000 and the company said it believes the shares will qualify for the Government’s tax-efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme once operations begin.
The business is based on 25 years of research by archivists and archaeologists tracing gold shipments between Britain and America during both World Wars and which were sunk by the enemy.
Records of exactly which ships carried gold cargoes have been lost or were never recorded as a wartime secrecy precaution.
Phillip Reid, Chairman of Britannia’s Gold talks to Tip TV’s Matt Brown
But Britannia’s Gold claims research of other sources, such as the timing of ship departures and records of US banks expecting to receive the precious metal, has enabled it to identify ships carrying gold or silver.
Its salvage plan is focusing on 20 vessels, which it believes contain £4.5 billion worth of gold.
The first cluster of three shipwrecks to be targeted are lying in 500 metres of water off the west coast of Ireland. However, their names are being kept secret for fear of rival salvage operations.
Reid said: ‘Our intellectual property is not that we know where the wrecks are – information as to their general location is available. What people do not know is which ships were carrying gold.
Hoard: Britannia’s Gold says it has identified 700 wartime wrecks loaded with the metal
That is what our research has worked out and that is our specific and exclusive intellectual property.’ The operation is due to begin by the end of June.
Reid is relaxed about the ‘treasure hunt’ tag, but says that is not strictly what the company is doing. ‘This is not really a treasure hunt. We know where the gold is, so we are not hunting for it. This is a cargo salvage operation.’
The plan is also being backed by FTSE 250 group James Fisher & Sons, a leading marine engineering and salvage group.
Britannia’s Gold – where James Fisher chief executive Nick Henry is a non-executive director – accepts the cargo is lawfully owned by the UK Government, but it believes the Treasury will accept only partial recovery of its losses, leaving big salvage fee profits – and the bulk of the gold’s value – for itself.
It cites the precedent of the merchant ship Gairsoppa, also sunk off Ireland, from which US salvagers recovered £48 million worth of silver in 1989. The UK Government accepted just 20 per cent of the value recovered, though that was under a prior agreement with the salvagers.
Reid said Britannia’s Gold had ‘engaged with Government’ but had not reached agreement.
Benton Wilcoxon (CEO IDM Exploration Ltd)
Benton leads the financing, administration and landside operations of the company. He is an experienced founder and CEO of several advanced materials and processes technology companies that have established significant markets worldwide. He is currently involved in commercializing novel high performance nano-structured titanium metal products for use in subsea equipment and the oil industry.
Will Carrier (Company Officer / Salvage Master)
Having spent over 30 years working in the marine subsea industry, encompassing deep sea saturation diving and ultra-deep water robotic intervention, Will leads the salvage team.
Will has been involved in some of the world’s largest and most challenging marine engineering and oilfield decommissioning projects including the Piper Alpha disaster, the recovery of the Kursk and the salvaging of the Francois Vieljeux.
More recently, Will has conducted preliminary survey expeditions on various wrecks BGL has identified as targets using state of the art vessels equipped with the latest in marine survey technology.
Capt Mark Martin (Salvage Master / Offshore Manager)
Mark is an accomplished marine manager with an excellent knowledge of marine survey systems and deep water salvage and recovery techniques, having started his career as a submariner on USS Dolphin, the world’s deepest diving submarine.
He subsequently spent 5 years at Odyssey Marine Exploration, managing expeditions that discovered Black Swan, HMS Victory, SS Republic and five WW11 German U-boats. He has conducted numerous other expeditions in the Atlantic, Western Approaches, Caribbean and Mediterranean, operating in depths from 300FSW to 17,000FSW.
Seb Lacombe (Naval Architect, Marine Engineer, Salvage Master)
Seb, a fully qualified marine engineer, has huge knowledge of the marine oil and gas industry as well as shipwreck salvage enabling him to design and implement subsea salvage systems such as electro-mechanical grabs and Remote Operated Vehicle tooling skids for use on recovery projects.
Seb worked with Will on the Francois Vieljeux and has been involved in search, identification and survey operations utilising side-scan and acoustic multi-beam survey systems on SS Arabic (1915) and TSS Hesperian (1915), both possible BGL targets.
DIRECTORSPhilip Reid | Chairman
Mr. Reid is currently Chairman of the Angel Business Club and has over 35 years experience in financial services specialising in the development and funding of early stage companies. He was a Chief Executive of the National Research Development Corporation, a Government backed venture capital organisation which oversaw the exploitation of many of the UK’s leading industrial innovations. He was later a Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch, co-Founder of Custom House Asset Management in Dublin and in recent years has been Chairman of some five AIM or Plus Listed public companies.Mauricio Garrido | Non Executive Director
Mauricio has been actively involved since 1990 in responding to more than 350 major global ship and cargo salvage incidents, first as Casualty Surveyor for Scandinavian Hull and Liability insurers and later as Salvage Master for international salvage companies including Resolve Marine and Titan Maritime. Since 2008, Mauricio has been President of Houston based T&T Salvage where he manages global operations in response to salvage, wreck removal, oil spill and other maritime and energy sector emergencies. Mauricio maintains an active relationship with the US Coast Guard and was the US appointed technical co-ordinator for salvage following Hurricane Katrina. As a past President of the American Salvage Association, he brings a wealth of expertise to BGL.Nick Henry | Non Executive Director
Nick’s role in BGL is to provide strategic advice on the operations of the Company. Nick was appointed as CEO of James Fisher and Son’s plc in 2004 having joined the company in 2003 as a Managing Director of James Fisher Tankships Ltd. Prior to this Nick worked for 20 years for P&O Containers and P&O Ports, of which 10 years were in senior management positions based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Netherlands and the Indian Sub-Continent. Nick’s experience encompasses a wide range of commercial and operational roles, including fleet management and information technology.
BGL has exclusive access to 4 dedicated research teams located in UK, USA and Canada. The teams have spent some 25 years accumulating 8 million digitized documents which provide substantive evidence of which sunken ships carried the valuable cargoes.
Records of these shipping losses are scattered globally throughout Government archives, maritime museums, banks and National Record Offices both public and privately sealed to which our research teams have had access.
Widespread research is constantly undertaken with existing research being further validated and previously unknown losses continually being brought to light.
- BGL seeks to raise £250,000 as Seed Capital in Ordinary shares carrying a Preferential Return in Year1
- BGL then seeks to raise Equity Ordinary share capital of £15 million
- £5m by way of Enterprise Investment Scheme – minimum subscription £1000.
- £10m by way of non-EIS qualifying investment
- Following successful recovery, BGL is intent in full payout of net profits save for retention of 2 x each years Cluster Salvage costs.
- In each year, following payment to HMG, no further distribution to any participating party until Investors have recouped their total investment.
- In Year 3, assuming full investment recoupment and appropriate reward, all initial investors will be carried forward on terms to be agreed.
Segment Special Situations Market identifier Name Britannia’s Gold Ltd Short name BRG Sectors ISIN Currency GBP Trade post Trade start 2016-12-08 Number of shares Vat number Entity number Country United Kingdom Instrument type share Votes per share 1 Stock type A Address
Bond House, 20 Woodstock Street | London W1C 2AN | England
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