Ophir Energy prices stock at bottom end of its range

THERE was some good news yesterday for London’s troubled IPO market as Ophir Energy, a Lakshmi Mittal-backed oil exploration group with 12 wells off the African coast, gained sufficient investor support for its upcoming flotation.

Ophir decided last night to price the new shares in the group at 250p, the bottom of the 250-280p price range. Ophir’s share offering was comfortably oversubscribed, sources told City A.M.

The exploration firm, which has made a significant gas discovery off the coast of Tanzania with partner BG Group, aims to raise up to $403m from the listing.

“It’s not a good market for IPOs and the important thing is to get this away,” one analyst said.

One IPO banker, not involved in the deal, said: “It’s really good to see these things working again.” Sources said the group had attracted widespread interest.