Rockhopper rights issue
ROCKHOPPER Exploration is raising nearly £50m to fund new drilling operations off the Falkland Islands. The oil exploration company is selling 17.3m new shares at 280p each, 3.5pc below the previous day’s close.
Investors – as so often in recent days – piled in, pushing the firm’s shares up 5.75p to 298.25p. The new capital will be pumped into a second exploration well named ‘Ernest’ in memory of Shackleton, the British explorer. Until a month ago Rockhopper’s stock was languishing at around 40p. But after oil was discovered – up to 242m recoverable barrels – at its Sea Lion well, it jumped more than sixfold in a fortnight.
Analysts were unsurprised by the placement, which was three times oversubscribed. Rockhopper is expected to continue testing through 2011, with first oil expected at Sea Lion by 2014.