Sunday 20 October 2019

Providence hopes fade as slow boat from China fails to dock

Tony O’Reilly Junior of Providence
Tony O’Reilly Junior of Providence

As recently as Monday morning Providence Resources chief executive Tony O'Reilly Jnr said he "remained confident" that Chinese investor Apec's long awaited funds would eventually arrive, adding that he had met with the Chinese company last Friday.

Less than 24 hours later, he and the company admitted defeat. The slow boat from China carrying the Apec cheque, if it ever docks, will come too late.

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The deal Providence Resources had been keeping the lights on for isn't going to happen.

The buck stops with Mr O'Reilly as CEO, but almost uniquely he's managed to hold onto his job at the now much reduced Providence Resources.

Redundancies announced in August mean the majority of the former staff no longer work for the company.

Shareholders have shared the pain. The share price has been pulverised this year, trading at €0.05 yesterday afternoon - down a whopping 66pc since the start of 2019.

On Monday the company, which has inherited the hopes and dreams of generations of Irish oil bugs, raised $3.76m (€3.4m) through a share placing. It will help pay for redundancies and to will keep the lights on a while longer, and with it the fading dream of an Irish gusher.

Ellie Donnelly

Irish Independent

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