Sirius completes share placing

Marion Dakers
SIRIUS Petroleum is close to completing a $40m (£25.2m) money-raising drive to pay for its first oil field in Nigeria, more than seven months after suspending its shares on the AIM market.

Sirius is set to beat its $40m target with both a share placing with institutional investors and a debt agreement, a person close to the company said yesterday.

The group is expected to announce the results of the share placing later this week, before resuming its AIM listing.

Sirius froze its shares in February to work on a $2m takeover of the Ke field from a Nigerian company, Del Sigma Petroleum. The firm said the rest of the cash would be spent on developing the field in the Niger delta.

Under the terms of the deal, Sirius will receive a net preferential cash flow of 78 per cent from revenues once oil is produced, until full recovery of its investment. After this the company will receive 40 per cent.

Sirius has signed four joint venture agreements with local companies, who will work with Chevon, Shell and Mobil to develop oil deposits in the region.

Emerging markets investment banks Renaissance Capital and Strand Hanson are working on the equity raise with Sirius, which was set up in 2009 with the aim of investing in Nigerian oil assets.
Shares in the company froze in February at 9p, valuing the company at £46.87m.