Shares suspended in Oisin Fanning’s San Leon amid accounts delay

San Leon received indicative €395.5 million bid from Chinese suitor last week

Oisin Fanning, chief executive of San Leon Energy. (Photograph: Ger Foy/ Collins Court)

Oisin Fanning, chief executive of San Leon Energy. (Photograph: Ger Foy/ Collins Court)


Shares in San Leon Energy, the London-listed oil and gas explorer led by former stockbroker and telecoms entrepreneur Oisin Fanning, were suspended on Monday as the company missed a deadline to file its 2016 accounts.

The audit results will be announced and accounts published “as soon as possible,” the Irish company said in a statement, adding that the suspension was “temporary”. Under stock market listing rules, the results should have been published by June 30.

San Leon disclosed on Friday it received a conditional offer from China Great United Petroleum to acquire the company at an indicative price of between 67p and 76p per share. This would value the bid at up to £347 million (€395.5 million).

The price is lower than a 80p-per-share indicative offer the company received before Christmas from another Chinese company, called Geron Energy Investor.

San Leon Energy’s largest shareholder, UK hedge fund Toscafond, run by Martin Hughes, who is dubbed “the Rothweiler” in the City of London for his sometimes aggressive management style, has been adding to his position in recent months in anticipation of a deal. He now owns 58.2 per cent of the company.

San Leon entered a transformational deal last year, acquiring a 9.72 per cent inters in the world-class OLI 18 oil field in Nigeria. The company plans to return half of its free cash flow from the investment to shareholders via share buybacks or dividends over five years.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to give reasons for the delay in the publication of the annual accounts or to say when they would be issued.