Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Tullow Oil CEO sells almost one-third of shareholding in share reshuffle

Founder Aidan Heavey
Founder Aidan Heavey
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The founder and ceo of Tullow Oil, Aidan Heavey, has sold almost one-third of his shareholding but only to raise funds to purchase shares at a lower price in a discounted rights issue.

Heavey and his family sold almost 1.8m shares in Tullow Oil this month according to The Sunday Times. The sale raised just under €5m.

The sales was noted as “sale of ordinary shares to provide funds in advance of taking up rights” in stock exchange filings.

In March of this year Tullow announced a rights issue at 130p a share, allowing existing shareholders to by 25 new shares for every 49 existing shares they held already.

The deal, which aimed to raise over £600m, was designed to cut the oil explorer's debt pile and invest in drilling sites.

At the time, the incoming ceo Paul McDade said that the company would continue to explore future asset sales with a view to maximising value for shareholders.

Tullow has been squeezed as a result of money borrowed on the markets to develop a field off the coast of Ghana and the collapse in the price of crude oil from mid 2014. The Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme, or TEN, project came on stream in August, and Tullow says capital-spending commitments will now drop as cash flow rises.

Aidan Heavey will this week step down as ceo of Tullow, having founded the company in 1985.

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