Crisis talks called over Topaz float

David Hellier
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BANKING advisers to the £300m flotation of Topaz Energy and Marine are meeting with the management of the group today amid fears that the flotation might be dropped.

The Dubai-based oilfield services group Topaz is a subisidiary of Omani group Renaissance Services and its proposed share listing has inevitably been hit by concerns over Middle Eastern stability.

“No decision has yet been made,” said one person close to the situation, “but clearly there are jitters.” Renaissance shares fell yesterday by 6.6 per cent on speculation that the IPO could be delayed.

Today’s meeting might conclude without a definite decision on whether to press ahead and advisers could insist on changes to pricing or structure to help push the deal through.

In recent weeks the Danish group ISS pulled a big issue and Lagardere delayed an IPO of Canal Plus, citing concerns over the Japanese earthquake.

The main banking advisers to Topaz are JP?Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. JP Morgan is also currently marketing the flotation of Edwards, a vacuum technology firm.

If the Topaz float does go ahead, the firm should have a market capitalisation of more than £1bn, which would put it in the FTSE 250. The group declined to comment.