Edmonds lists African fund on junior market

 
Suzie Neuwirth
A NEW investment company founded by businessman and ex-England cricketer Phil Edmonds floats on the London market today.

Africa Oilfield, which invests in the oil and gas logistics support industry in sub-Saharan Africa, will list on Aim with a market cap of £11.1m.

The firm is looking to raise £4.25m from placing 85,172,415 shares at 5p per share, representing 38 per cent of its share capital.

Africa Oilfield was founded by Edmonds and business partner Andrew Groves, who have introduced African-focused companies to Aim together.

Some of their former deals have been mired in controversy. Shares in oil explorer White Nile soared within days of the float in 2005, but trading was soon suspended after the company’s legal right to drill in southern Sudan was challenged. In 2008 it shelved the oil business and rebranded itself as Agriterra, focusing on farming in Africa.

Edmonds and Groves have also faced criticism in the past for striking deals with state-run companies in Zimbabwe, involving relationships with Robert Mugabe’s government.

“There is a huge opportunity in oilfield logistics in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Andrew Groves, chief executive of African Oilfield. “We have [already] raised £6.5m in a short period of time from professional investors who understand the potential of identifying and acquiring businesses that operate in this sector and jurisdictions.”

The company said raising additional finance through issuing debt or further equity in the future would be a possibility. Cantor Fitzgerald is the nominated adviser and joint broker on the public offering and MC Peat is acting as joint broker.