Business Irish

Thursday 25 May 2017

Canny O'Gorman turns a quid into €8.8m in a single oil punt

Tom Lyons

TOM O'Gorman, the veteran investor, hit the jackpot last week by turning a £1 investment in a mining minnow made on his 55th birthday in February 2007 into a holding worth £7.5m (€8.8m) today.

Combined with three further investments, at a cost of about £500,000, O'Gorman has built up six million shares in total in Cove Energy, the Irish oil and gas explorer.

These were worth £15m based on a bid of £992.4m for the company by Royal Dutch Shell last Wednesday.

O'Gorman, along with his regular co-investor Gerry Walsh, are among the biggest Irish winners from any potential sale of the company previously known as Lapp Platts.

About 15-20 investors assembled by Bank of Ireland and Dolmen Stockbrokers look set for a 40-fold return on the £1.2m they invested in the company only five years ago.

John Craven, the genius geologist and Cove's chief executive, is set for a payout of £18m; Cove's chairman Michael Blaha has shares worth £13.5m; finance director Michael Nolan has a stake worth £7.1m.

Rumours of a counterbid for the company, which has interests in Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya swirled on Friday, with Anadarko Petroleum, state-owned Thai oil and exploration firm PTTEP and Indian state resources firm ONGC also mentioned.

O'Gorman and Walsh meanwhile, are working on their next venture after taking a 22.6 per cent stake in Westmount Energy last November.

Sunday Indo Business

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