China snares 4.4bn Addax

CHINESE state-owned Sinopec agreed a takeover of London-listed oil producer Addax yesterday, in a deal worth C$8.3bn (&pound;4.4bn).<br /><br />The offer of C$52.80 a share &ndash; which comes after a behind-the-scenes bidding war with Korea National Oil &ndash; is a 16 per cent premium to Addax&rsquo;s closing share price on Tuesday and more than four times the stock&rsquo;s November low of C$12.13.<br /><br />Addax, which is dual listed in London and Toronto but based in Switzerland, has grown quickly since being formed 15 years ago by Chief Executive Jean Claude Gandur.<br /><br />It averaged production of 136,500 barrels a day last year from 537m barrels of reserves in onshore and offshore fields in West Africa and Iraq&rsquo;s Kurdistan region, including the promising Taq Taq field.<br /><br />If the deal goes through, Addax will see its Toronto and London listings cancelled.<br /><br />The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves into Kurdistan, which the US geological survey estimates to have over 40bn barrels of oil untapped, as a political dispute between the autonomous region and Iraq&rsquo;s central government cools.<br /><br />Addax&rsquo;s Geneva-based chief executive Jean-Claude Gandur said: &ldquo;The efforts and accomplishments that Addax Petroleum has achieved thus far will be built on through increased investment in the business.&rdquo; Gandur has a stake in Addax worth C$296m.<br /><br />Sinopec&rsquo;s acquisition is understood to be China&rsquo;s largest ever overseas investment in the oil and gas sector. It comes as Chinese companies seek to buy into oil, gas and mining companies in Africa and the Middle East.<br /><br /><strong>RBC CAPITAL MARKETS<br /><br />ADVISERS TO ADDAX</strong><br />Bruce Roth is deputy chairman at RBC, and joined the company in 1991 as co-head of the Communications and Technology group.<br /><br />Understood to be advising on the Addax Sinopec deal, he is a chartered accountant, and has an MBA from from the University of Western Ontario.<br /><br />In 1999, he moved to New York to manage RBC's US corporate and investment banking division.<br /><br />In 2000, Rothney was appointed head of global origination and became a member of both the operating and executive committees of the firm.&nbsp; <br /><br />Following the merger with Dain Rauscher Wessels and Tucker Anthony Sutro, Rothney was appointed head of investment banking for RBC Capital Markets.<br /><br />He is a member of the board of directors of North York General Hospital.<br /><br />Roth and RBC were underwriters for a deal with private Canadian broadcaster Craig Media, when it received $110m in a private investment from Providence Equity Partners and $35m in new credit from RBC.