Greece’s En­ergean weighs IPO to fund Is­rael gas plan – sources

Jerusalem Post - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

LONDON/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek en­ergy firm En­ergean is con­sid­er­ing list­ing on the London stock ex­change to raise cash for a $1.5 bil­lion de­vel­op­ment of gas fields off Is­rael’s coast, sources fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told Reuters.

En­ergean, Greece’s sole oil pro­ducer, said in a state­ment it was in the process of de­vel­op­ing Is­rael’s Kar­ish and Tanin off­shore fields and was “en­gaged in a range of con­tract­ing and fi­nanc­ing dis­cus­sions to achieve this.”

“We are cur­rently ex­am­in­ing all op­tions of fund­ing the project’s re­quire­ments,” a com­pany spokesman said in an email, with­out say­ing if this in­cluded a pub­lic list­ing.

Four sources, in­clud­ing three bank­ing sources, told Reuters that in­vest­ment banks Mor­gan Stan­ley and Citi (were ad­vis­ing the firm on the ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing process.

The banks did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

If man­age­ment opted for an IPO, the list­ing would take place next year al­though it was un­clear how much cash En­ergean would seek to raise, the sources said.

En­ergean, a pri­vate ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion firm op­er­at­ing in the east­ern Mediter­ranean, and pri­vate eq­uity fund Kero­gen Cap­i­tal bought the Kar­ish and Tanin licenses from Is­rael’s Delek Group in De­cem­ber 2016 for an up­front cost of $40 mil­lion and $108.5 mil­lion in con­tin­gent pay­ments.

Led by Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Mathios Ri­gas, En­ergean ex­pects to make a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion on de­vel­op­ing the fields, es­ti­mated to hold 2.4 tril­lion cu­bic feet of gas, by the end of 2017. The de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to cost $1.3 bil­lion to $1.5 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany web­site.

En­ergean said in May it had signed con­tracts to sup­ply up to 23 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of nat­u­ral gas to pri­vate Is­raeli power sta­tions from the fields.

London en­ergy list­ings have been spo­radic and small in the past three years as a dip in oil prices dried up in­vestor in­ter­est. But 2017 has seen eight such list­ings on London’s ju­nior mar­ket so far, com­pared to five in the whole of 2016, when oil prices reached a 12-year low of around $26 a bar­rel.

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