Fastnet Equity considering exploration asset spin-out

Fastnet Equity is considering spinning out its Irish exploration assets into a separate entity, in a bid to derive future shareholder value from them.

The Dublin-based investment company gained approval, at a general meeting in London, yesterday for its name-change from Fastnet Oil & Gas to Fastnet Equity and for its plan to exit the exploration sector in favour of investing in the healthcare/biopharma industry.

Dealings under the new name will begin on Monday in Dublin and Tuesday in London.

Fastnet announced its decision earlier this month, saying it has a near €14m warchest to spend on European-based pharma deals.

The move is based on a reluctance to invest in further drilling activity or exploration-focused merger and acquisition deals given the current depressed oil price market.

On existing assets, the company has said it plans to surrender its share of the Foum Assaka licence, offshore Morocco, and may dispose of its Celtic Sea assets.

However, yesterday, it added that another option is to spin out the Irish assets, which also include 3D seismic data from the largest ever such programme undertaken in the Celtic Sea.

“Options under consideration include spinning the Celtic Sea assets into a standalone entity.

"This would enable any value-creating opportunities from Celtic Sea assets to benefit our existing shareholders, who would become shareholders in the ‘newco’,” said Fastnet’s non-executive chairman, Cathal Friel, yesterday.

Mr Friel said the board will “work tirelessly to source shareholder-accretive deals for the company in the healthcare sector and looks forward to updating shareholders on progress in the months ahead”.


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