Ascent Resources Raises Development Funds
Ascent Resources has conditionally raised £6 million (before expenses) by way of a placing by Astaire Securities plc ('Astaire') of 120,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the capital of the Company ('the Placing Shares'), with new and existing shareholders at a price of 5 pence per Placing Share. The funds raised will be used to accelerate the development of the Company's balanced portfolio of European oil and gas production and exploration projects.
Ascent Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "Our business model of investing primarily onshore in Europe has proved popular with investors. Naturally, the fact that our last four drilling programs have all been successful has also ensured support from new and existing shareholders. Not only does the Placing strengthen our institutional shareholder base, but it also enables us to implement our 2010 development plan, which is focussed on proving up reserves and increasing production.
"Our priority is to realize near term value and therefore the funds from the Placing will be applied to those projects that can produce near term cash flow. With this in mind, a key focus will be the Petisovci oilfield in Slovenia where preliminary results from the 3D seismic are above our expectations; new prospects are available for drilling and there is near term potential for production in 2010."
Ascent's main focus for 2010 is in Hungary and Slovenia. Gas production from the Pencszlck area is expected to be from five wells by mid-2010 and should provide a substantially higher revenue stream compared to the revenue generated by production from a single well during 2009.
In order to issue all of the Placing Shares, the Company needs to increase its authorised share capital -- therefore the Placing is being effected in two stages. Under the first stage, the Company intends to issue 35,800,000 of the Placing Shares raising gross proceeds of £1,790,000 (before expenses) ("First Placing"). The First Placing is subject to the admission of the First Placing shares to trading on AIM, which is expected to take place on 4 December 2009.
Following the Extraordinary General Meeting, the Company intends to issue a further 84,200,000 of the Placing Shares raising gross proceeds of £4,210,000 (before expenses) ("Second Placing"). The Second Placing is conditional on the relevant resolutions being duly passed by Shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting, scheduled for December 14, 2009 to authorise the issue of the Second Placing Shares, and on admission of the Second Placing Shares to trading on AIM which is expected to take place on December 15, 2009.
All of the Placing Shares will, when issued, rank pari passu in all respects with the Company's existing ordinary shares in issue, including the right to receive any dividends and other distributions declared by the Company. Following the Placing, the Company's total issued share capital will be 500,132,042 ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the Company. The Placing Shares will represent approximately 24% of the enlarged issued share capital of the Company.
Ascent is proposing to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting to, inter alia, increase the Board's authority to allot the Company's share capital on December 14, 2009 at 2.00pm at the offices of Sprecher Grier Halberstam LLP, 5th Floor, One America Square, Crosswall, London EC3N 2SG.
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