Irish oil company takes Melrose

Irish exploration company Petroceltic is set to take control of British oil exploration and production company Melrose Resources in a £165m (€210m) deal which will basically double the size of the Dublin-based firm.

The merger — which is, in effect, a reverse takeover by Petroceltic of the Edinburgh-headquartered company — will double Petroceltic’s market capitalisation to around £350m.

The enlarged company will be 54% owned byexisting Petroceltic shareholders and 46% owned by Melrose’s shareholder base.

While one London-based analyst — Richard Griffith of Oriel Securities — told Reuters that he views the deal as not being particularly good for Melrose, it is understood the Scottish company’s shareholders fully support the move.

Both companies will put the transaction to their shareholders on Sep 20, with the deal expected to be formally concluded in early October.

Petroceltic chief executive Brian Ó Cathain said the merger offered a compelling opportunity to create a regionally focused company, balanced between production, development and exploration.

The deal will also significantly grow Petroceltic’s asset base. Currently active in Algeria, Italy, and Kurdistan, the addition of Melrose will give it assets near the Black Sea in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as in Egypt and Turkey.

The enlarged Petroceltic will remained headquartered in Dublin, with its existing management team bolstered by David Thomas and Robert Adair of Melrose, coming on board as chief operating officer and non-executive chairman, respectively. The company — currently listed on the ESM market in Dublin and London’s AIM — also hopes to take a dual listing on the main stock markets in those two cities within the next 12 months.

It is understood that Melrose was the prime mover of this deal happening and Mr Adair said, yesterday, that its execution represents “an exciting opportunity” for all shareholders.


Lifestyle

As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner