Tuesday 24 October 2017

Fastnet raises €12.4m in first day on stock exchange

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

THE rapid flow of companies leaving the Dublin stock exchange was reversed yesterday as a new oil company began trading on the junior ESM exchange.

Shares in Fastnet Oil and Gas plunged on the first day of the new company trading in London, after a share placement at well below the opening share price.

The Irish company began trading in Dublin and London yesterday after it completed the reverse takeover of UK firm Terra Energy.

Shares in the company were flat in Dublin, where it is trading on the ESM, but slumped by a fifth in London, where it is trading on the AIM Market. The slump was expected, coming after the company placed just over 90 million shares at 11p, raising £10m (€12.4m).

The company is focused on Africa and off the south east of Ireland. Fastnet has three licences in the Celtic Sea. Gas reserves have already been found in the area by other companies.

In a statement, the company said the £10m it raised would be used to "fund and develop a pipeline of opportunities and for general working capital purposes".

Chief executive Steve Staley said it was one of the best possible times to launch a business like Fastnet.

"Our launch comes at a very opportune time; with interest re-ignited in the Celtic Sea and the prospectivity of many areas of Africa confirmed," he said.

The flotation of Fastnet in Dublin comes at a critical time for the Irish Stock Exchange, which has seen a number of firms either slump in value or move their main listing elsewhere in the hope of securing higher valuations.

It was no surprise then that ISE chief executive Deirdre Somers was "delighted" with the listing. "It is the first company to come to the Irish market in 2012 and the first exploration company for some time," she said,

Fastnet has hit the headlines in recent weeks as it is backed by Irishman John Craven, who heads Cove Energy. Yesterday Cove said it had discovered more oil in Mozambique, sending its shareprice up another 2pc to 267p.

Irish Independent

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