Investors press for Rockhopper to share payout

Kasmira Jefford
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ROCKHOPPER Exploration, the Aim-listed company that discovered oil near the Falkland Islands, is set to meet with its largest shareholder this week in a bid to stave off a potential investor row.

Crispin Odey, whose Odey Asset Management owns 10 per cent of the company, is understood to have told Rockhopper to share with investors part of a $230m (£153m) cash payment it received from a joint venture with Premier Oil last summer.

The pair agreed on a $1bn partnership in July to pump oil from its find north of the remote UK-governed islands in 2010.

Premier agreed to pay an initial $231m in exchange for a 60 per cent stake in its Sea Lion field as well as providing around $770m to help build infrastructure.

Oil production is expected to start in 2017 and comes amid continued tension with Argentina over sovereignty.

Rockhopper’s chairman Pierre Jungels is set to meet with the asset manager at some point this week to resolve issues over the payment. Both parties declined to comment.