Ex-BP head's new venture raises £1.35bn

2011-06-17 17:26

London - Former BP boss Tony Hayward's new investment vehicle said Friday it has raised £1.35bn (€1.53bn, $2.18bn) in a fundraising for a stock market flotation, higher than expected.

Vallares, which will focus on the oil and gas industry, has raised around 30% more than the £1bn it had been aiming for when it launched the fundraising on June 9, a statement said.

The venture, which will debut Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange, marks a return for Hayward to the oil and gas sector after he resigned from British group BP over his much-criticised handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year.

"It is heartening to receive the backing of so many investors and to reach the fund raising target so quickly," Hayward said.

"This demonstrates the confidence investors have in the strong fundamentals of the resources sector and our focus will now turn to searching for suitable acquisition opportunities."

The company sold 133 million shares valued at 1.000 pence each.

Vallares says its goal is "acquiring or establishing a major company, business or asset that that has significant operations in the resources sector."

Hayward has invested £100m of his own money in Vallares along with the other founders of the investment vehicle, who include financier Nathaniel Rothschild.

He resigned as chief executive of BP last July after his gaffe-prone handling of the environmental catastrophe along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

He was vilified in the United States after trying to downplay the environmental impact of the spill and saying that he wanted his "life back" amid intense media coverage of the catastrophe.

An explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 killed 11 workers, caused millions of barrels of oil to spew into the sea and left the BP facing huge compensation payouts.