Monday 19 August 2019

San Leon shares jump as it confirms takeover approach

Oisin Fanning, chief executive at San Leon Picture: Courtpix
Oisin Fanning, chief executive at San Leon Picture: Courtpix
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shares in London-listed exploration firm San Leon - headed by Irishman Oisin Fanning - soared more than 25pc yesterday after it confirmed that it had received a takeover approach.

The company had a market capitalisation of £240m (€285m) following the share surge.

In August, San Leon raised $221m (€211m) to help fund the purchase of a material interest in an offshore Nigerian oilfield.

The shares sold under the rights issue were priced at 45p each. San Leon's shares were trading at 52p by yesterday afternoon.

San Leon shares were suspended on the Alternative Investment Market in London for the first eight months of 2016.

As part of the deal to buy the Nigerian asset, San Leon's shares were suspended in January because the deal constituted a reverse takeover of a larger company.

It had been expected that the deal would have been completed by March. But as it wasn't, and the shares remained suspended until August.

San Leon's single biggest investor is UK-based hedge fund Toscafund.

Apart from its Nigerian interest, San Leon has assets in Albania, France and Spain.

Last month, San Leon sold its assets in Poland.

It sold a 35pc interest it held in the Rawicz gas field for $9m.

It also sold its 35pc interest in its so-called Poznan assets for €1 plus a 10pc net profit interest in those assets.

The company said yesterday that it had received an approach but that there was no certainty any offer would be made.

It added that a further announcement would be made in due course if appropriate.

In 2013, IBRC settled a €16m case against Mr Fanning, who used to be the chief executive of Smart Telecom.

That action arose from loans and guarantees, including an €8m loan related to his home in Co Kildare.

Mr Fanning had offered €8m in cash in full settlement.

Irish Independent

Also in Business