Tuesday 12 December 2017

Petroceltic row flares back up

Flagship project is in Algeria
Flagship project is in Algeria

Paul O'Donoghue

Petroceltic is to take legal advice after receiving a letter from its largest shareholder, Worldview, demanding an extraordinary general meeting to try and block a planned €161m bond issue.

Worldview Capital Management is a Swiss-based hedge fund run by Angelo Moskov and the largest shareholder in Dublin-based oil and gas explorer Petroceltic with a 29pc stake.

The shareholder has been at loggerheads with the Irish company for a year and made a failed attempt to oust Petroceltic chief executive Brian O'Cathain in February. The hedge fund has now formally requested an EGM to try and block a $175m (€161m) bond issue.

Petroceltic intends to use the funds from the bond issue to finance its share of capital spending at its flagship Ain Tsila gas project in Algeria, on which it is leading development. Capital expenditure is set to hit $2bn over the lifetime of the project. The bond issue is to be secured against the asset. The motions proposed by Worldview for the EGM are to give detail around the bond "and give shareholders the right to disapprove of the process" and to allow shareholders to place "appropriate" restrictions on Petroceltic's borrowing ability.

Worldview had claimed Petroceltic had "run out of money" and therefore was placing its key asset at risk with the proposed bond issue. Petroceltic released a short statement saying it is "taking advice in relation to the letter and further announcements will be made in due course". It is understood that the company is taking advice to establish whether the EGM request is legally sound.

Irish Independent

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