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    Viaro Snaps up UK Rockrose for $310mn


Rockrose produces around 20,000 boe/d from fields in the UK and Dutch North Sea.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Exploration & Production, News By Country, United Kingdom

Viaro Snaps up UK Rockrose for $310mn

Global energy trading group Viaro has launched an all-cash takeover of London-listed producer Rockrose Energy for £247.6mn ($310mn), Rockrose said in a filing on July 6.

Viaro Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viaro Group will acquire the entire capital of Rockrose at a price of £18.50/share – a premium of around 64% to the closing price on July 3. Directors and senior managers with 33.3% of Rockrose, and other investors with 2% of the company, have recommended that shareholders back the deal.

"After careful reflection, the board of RockRose has concluded that accepting this offer is firmly in the best interests of our shareholders," RockRose's executive chairman Andrew Austin said. "It has been an exciting journey since RockRose was founded five years ago. However, for the benefit of all stakeholders, now is the time to move on and allow RockRose to continue to flourish with new backers."

RockRose has interests in a number of fields in the UK and Dutch North Sea, netting around 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day of production. Viaro, which has offices in Dubai and Hong Kong, is expected to take over the company  via a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement. Rockrose shareholders will receive scheme documentation in due course.

"We have ambitious growth plans in the UK continental shelf and we believe that RockRose's producing assets, its staff, its commitment to health and safety, the environment and best in class operational procedures, will be an ideal platform from which to grow our presence in the UKCS,"' Viaro Energy CEO Francesco Mazzagatti commented.

RockRose slashed 2020 capital expenditure by 40% in April in response to the market collapse, but still expects to take part in the drilling of up to seven wells, including two infill wells at West Brae, four development wells at the Arran field that is due to start production next year and two infills at the Blake field, whose operational life is being extended.