Topaz eyes a London listing to raise £311m

DUBAI-based oilfield services firm Topaz Energy and Marine plans to raise $500m (£311m) in a London listing.

The firm, which is part of Oman’s Renaissance Services, is likely to power into the FTSE 250 if the listing is successful, with a market capitalisation of $1.7bn.

Topaz has set a price range of 170p per share to 230p per share and plans to list early next month. It will use the funds to expand its operations and repay debt.

The oilfield services firm plans to spend up to $2.5bn over the next two years to acquire 75 new vessels for its fleet. It currently has 100 vessels, focused on shallow-water operations. The firm said it plans to expand into deep-water, moving into regions off the coast of Brazil and West Africa.

Topaz chief executive Fazel Fazelbhoy said: “The era of easy oil is over. The most exciting finds are coming increasingly offshore.”

The global offer is subject to Renaissance shareholders approving the move at the company’s annual general meeting on 28 March.

As the Oman-listed firm’s marine unit, Topaz made earnings before interest depreciation and amortisation of $127m last year.

Fears the company’s exposure to the Middle East would detract from investor appetite for the offering were played down yesterday.

It said most of its operations were offshore and that its operations, centred on the Caspian Sea, remained away from current unrest.

However, the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could have a bearing for firms looking to move into deepwater operations, warned ING analyst Jason Kenny. He said: “Deepwater is going to remain the domain of large cap oil firms, as they can shoulder the burden insurers require for those operations.”

RUPERT HUME-KENDALL

MERRILL LYNCH

RUPERT Hume-Kendall is leading the advisory for Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the Topaz Energy and Marine initial public offering (IPO).

The bank is acting as joint bookrunner on the deal alongside fellow bookrunner and sole global coordinator and sponsor JP Morgan Cazenove.

As chairman of global capital markets, Hume-Kendall recently advised on the privatisation of VTB Bank, the state-owned Russian lender, in a $3.3bn (£2bn) share sale.

He also led the advisory for a $6.6bn raising by Japan’s fourth-largest bank, Resona.

Hume-Kendall has a particular focus on European and Asian markets, and has led the funding of many of Merrill Lynch’s largest and most prestigious clients, including BT, RBS, and Lloyds Banking Group.

He joined Merrill Lynch in 1998 from Swiss bank UBS, where he had worked for five years following a period at Schroders.

Merrill Lynch managing director in corporate broking Andrew Osborne joined him on the Topaz advisory.