Providence investors led by M&G back rescue fundraising

Oil explorer confirms repayment of Melody debt and discharge of Transocean liability

Oil and gas explorer Providence Resources has disclosed the holders of more than half its stock.

It follows a $70 million emergency fundraising that has left investors prior to the deal holding less than a quarter of the company.

Providence said on Wednesday morning that London-based M&G Investment Management now owns almost 15 per cent of the company. Disclosures in recent days also revealed that Capital Group companies in California now own 9.7 per cent, while UK asset manager Henderson Group has a 5.6 per cent stake.

Prior stock

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Many of the backers of the fundraising held stock prior to the share sale. This was the case for Irish businessman Nick Furlong’s Pageant Holdings, which now owns 4.6 per cent. Hargreave Hale in Blackpool holds 5.6 per cent of the company.

Separately, Providence confirmed on Wednesday it has used some of the proceeds from the share sale to pay off debt to US lender Melody Capital with the payment of $20 million cash and 9.94 million shares.

As a result, Melody has released the security it held over the Irish group’s assets. The payment was agreed at Providence’s recent extraordinary general meeting.

Court dispute

Providence also confirmed that it has discharged the balance due to Transocean Drilling on foot of a Court of Appeal ruling last April.

Transocean carried out drilling work on Providence's oil and gas prospect in the Celtic Sea but a dispute between the pair ended up in court.

Providence was left with a $7 million legal bill, forcing it to suspend its shares in April.

The remainder of the funds raised is to shore up its finances as it seeks to sell a stake in its Barryroe exploration site, which was found in 2012 to have more than 300 million recoverable barrels of oil, and fund drilling at its Druid propsoect some 220km off the west coast of Ireland.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times