Petrofac will create new oil colossus

Steve Dinneen
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OIL services group Petrofac will buy-up a string of North Sea fields as it prepares to float a new venture with Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum.

The new company, named EnQuest, is expected to crash straight into the FTSE 250 and have a market capitalisation of $1bn (£669m). EnQuest will become one of the ten biggest oil companies in the UK by value.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazenove are advising Petrofac on the deal, which will bag millions for chief executive Ayman Asfari, one of Britain’s richest men. A roadshow to sell the IPO to potential investors is scheduled for the coming weeks.

Amjad Bseisu will step down from his role as chief executive of the Energy Developments business unit to take the reins at EnQuest. Petrofac is also believed to have approached Jim Buckee, former president and chief executive of Canada’s Talisman Energy, to become chairman.

Asfari said: “This Demerger provides shareholders with an opportunity to retain an investment in a separately listed entity and the ability to participate in its future growth prospects.”

He added: “This is the first time we have harvested value from our energy developments business, and we will continue to seek value creating opportunities in oil and gas upstream developments and energy infrastructure.”

Petrofac’s operations are centred midway between the Shetlands and Norway, where it produces 40,000 barrels a day. Lundin produces an estimated 24,000 barrels per day.


• Petrofac operates in the North Sea, midway between Shetland and Norway.
• It produces 40,000 barrels of oil a day.
• Owner Amyan Asfari’s 15 per cent stake in the company is now worth more than £580m.


ADVISING for Goldman is the head of its UK investment banking arm Julian Metherell. His expertise is in company takeovers and he has worked on dozens of billion pound M&A projects since taking over the role.

He has a track record working on big energy deals, having advised Talisman Energy Resources on its £1.2bn offer for Paladin Energy.

The former British Army officer has worked in Goldman’s New York headquarters and is tipped to rise to the top of the organisation. Metherell is listed in the top 50 of the most powerful people in British business.

Metherell advised Centrica, the owner of British Gas, on its takeover of Venture in August last year for 845p a share, valuing the company at £1.3bn.

He also advised Centrica on the long-running deal to buy a 20 per cent stake in British Energy from EDF Group, which was finalised last year after receiving clearance from the Office of Fair Trading.

He advised Anglo American in its negotiations with Xstrata over its possible acquisition.

Also advising on the Petrofac deal for Goldman is Phil Raper, head of the bank’s corporate broking division.

Both men are well known figures in the City.