Business Irish

Sunday 27 May 2018

T5 Oil & Gas to launch IPO in drive to build $1bn company

Exploration firm backed by industry heavy-hitters aims to list in Dublin and London, writes Gavin McLoughlin

Pat Plunkett, T5 chairman
Pat Plunkett, T5 chairman
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Shareholders in T5 Oil & Gas have been told the company plans to float on the Irish & London Stock Exchanges in April, the Sunday Independent has learned.

The oil and gas exploration firm has hired Davy Stockbrokers and London-based boutique investment bank Hannam & Partners to advise it on the transaction, which will see it list shares on the Alternative Investment Market in London and the Enterprise Securities Market in Dublin.

The company's stated aim is to become a listed, billion-dollar company and it is backed by a number of industry heavyweights.

T5 has written to shareholders, saying it will be seeking their approval for the transaction shortly. It hopes to capitalise on the recent improvement in oil and gas industry conditions.

The London-based firm was set up by a group of Tullow Oil veterans. It is run by executive chairman Pat Plunkett, who is also the chairman of Providence Resources.

Plunkett was the chairman of Tullow Oil from 2000 to 2011, during which time the company went from a market cap of £275m to over £12bn.He was a founder of Riada Stockbrokers, which was later bought by Dutch bank ABN-AMRO.

The company declined to comment. Its website says it is "in the early stages of building a publicly-listed billion-dollar Africa and Middle East E&P company - creating long-term value for our stakeholders".

The amount of money raised - and subsequently the valuation assigned to the company - will be determined by market conditions, as will the precise timing of the company's listing.

T5 owns 90pc of an exploration block in Senegal in West Africa. Funds raised in the flotation would help with work on that asset as well as the pursuit of further acquisitions. Previously it considered a bid for Egyptian production assets owned by Petroceltic, which put itself up for sale at the end of 2015 after running out of cash.

It will be the first float in Dublin this year. The last firm to list on the Irish Stock Exchange was venture capital provider Draper Esprit, which raised €102m when it went public in June of last year.

Apart from Plunkett, other ex-Tullow figures involved in the company include exploration director Gerry Sheehan, previously an international exploration manager at Tullow.

Matthew O'Donoghue, a former director of international operations at Tullow, is on T5's board, as is former Tullow managing director for Africa Andrew Windham.

Sunday Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business