Hayward seals $2.1bn Vallares oil merger

Tony Hayward’s Vallares venture has confirmed it will merge with Kurdish oil producer Genel Energy through a reverse takeover worth $2.1bn (£1.3bn).

Vallares, the brainchild of Nat Rothschild led by Hayward, is to acquire all of Genel with both business owners retaining equal stakes in the enlarged group, and it will be renamed Genel Energy.

Hayward will take the chief executive’s role, marking his return to active management of energy companies since he resigned from BP’s helm last July following the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

“I believe our investors are acquiring a strong existing business with excellent producing assets, a fine team of technical and operating staff already in place, and immense potential for future growth.

"Most importantly, we are doing so at the attractive entry price of some US$1.50 a barrel,” Hayward said in a statement.

Nat Rothschild will be a non-executive director, as will Gulsun Nazli Karamehmet Williams, daughter of Genel’s current owner Mehmet Karamehmet.

Genel’s chief executive and 29 per cent shareholder, Mehmet Sepil, will become president of the new group and has also nominated a board representative.

Both Mehmet Karamehmet and Mehmet Sepil have committed to retain their interests in the new entity for one and two years respectively.

Genel is the biggest oil and gas company in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and owns two large oilfields, a major gas condensate discovery and significant
exploration acreage, Vallares said.