OIL supremo Tom Cross built a billion-plus company over a decade and a half. Now he wants to do it all over again -- only faster.
He grew up in London's East End, the eldest of eight children in a household without much money and had several part-time jobs on the go from the age of 10.
Turning down an apprenticeship at Tottenham Hotspur, he went to university instead where he got a first in engineering. He joined Conoco, and went on to work for several oil independents.
In 1994, he founded Dana Petroleum. It had quick success, drilling 20 wells in western Siberia. It acquired assets in the North Sea and grew into a 50,000-barrels-a-day production company. According to Mr Cross, early shareholders (including a fair few Irish pensioners) have made 1,000 times their original investment.
Korean National Oil Corporation bought Dana in a hostile takeover in September 2010 for £1.9bn (€2.2bn), the best ever price for an independent UK oil firm. Mr Cross made about £60m.
He now heads the Parkmead Group, an AIM minnow worth £36m. In its first major acquisition, Parkmead recently took a 15 per cent stake in several North Sea blocks from a subsidiary of Exxon Mobile operated by Dana.
Mr Cross helped fund the deal with a £8m loan to Parkmead. "We are probably already where Dana was in year three or four," he boasted in a recent interview.
Sunday Indo Business