Saturday 10 December 2016

O'Reilly Jnr ups stake in Providence

Published 03/07/2016 | 02:30

Providence will be given a
Providence will be given a "new lease of life" by the cash injection, which will allow it to pay off debts, drill a new well and find a partner to develop its most valuable asset, said O'Reilly. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke

Providence Resources chief executive Tony O'Reilly Junior will up his stake as part of a €66m share sale designed to rescue the exploration company.

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Existing shareholders were invited to take part in the sale and O'Reilly is choosing to do so, opting to invest more than is required to maintain his stake.

Providence will be given a "new lease of life" by the cash injection, which will allow it to pay off debts, drill a new well and find a partner to develop its most valuable asset, said O'Reilly.

Long-term institutional London-based investors have committed to buying shares alongside some existing investors.

Shareholders will vote on the plan in less than a fortnight.

Providence has had a difficult few months. Shares were suspended last April following a ruling by the Court of Appeal in London, which ordered it to pay up to $7m to drilling services firm Transocean.

The ruling threatened the firm's viability at a time when it was struggling to secure investment for its flagship Barryroe Field off the coast of Cork.

O'Reilly said he felt years of investment in offshore Ireland have been "vindicated" by recent interest from the world's biggest oil companies in Irish waters.

"My family, from my father's earliest forays in this sector, has probably invested around $70m in it - and we haven't seen it back yet," he said.

"But we fundamentally believe that offshore Ireland has huge potential."

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