Gulf Keystone mulls $200m equity raising

 
Elizabeth Fournier
KURDISTAN-focused oil firm Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) yesterday said it was considering tapping the markets to raise capital, confirming it is “considering its options” in response to speculation over the weekend.

Reports suggested the company would look to raise up to $200m (£127.5m), though Gulf Keystone did not confirm the figures yesterday.

The closely-followed oil explorer said last week that it was planning to sell a minority stake in one of its oil blocks in Kurdistan, and announced plans to move from onto London’s main market from its current position on Aim.

Long the subject of speculation over its future, GKP was forced to deny reports at the end of August that it was in talks to sell, in a deal that might have valued it at up to £1.4bn.

“Whilst there is clearly increasing interest in the region in which Gulf Keystone operates, the board is not in discussions with regard to a sale of the company,” said chief executive Todd Kozel at the time, adding that management believed the true value of the company was “significantly above” any of the figures quoted.

Earlier this year GKP posted a loss after tax of $10.3m for the six months to June 30.

Shares in Gulf Keystone closed down 4.13 per cent yesterday at 162.5p, valuing the company at around £1.3bn.

MEET THE ADVISERS

PETER KRENS

MIRABAUD SECURITIES

GULF Keystone is being advised on its planned rights issue by partners at 192-year old Swiss private bank Mirabaud Securities, which has fielded a team that is being led by Peter Krens, an equity capital markets partner at the firm.

Krens worked alongside Arden Partners as adviser to clean energy producer Greenko on its £50m share placing in June this year. He also helped Irish oil and gas explorer Petroceltic tap shareholders for £81m in 2010, to fund investment in its project in Algeria and Italy.

Krens advises a number of other energy companies including Hummingbird Resources, Caparo Energy and Exillon Energy, which he worked with almost two years ago on its £62m flotation.

Exillon’s IPO was the first to be launched by a Russian company since the start of the financial crisis, and valued the group at £186m in December 2009.