Board role for Lord Browne raises flotation hope

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ANALYSTS believe that appointing former BP chief executive Lord Browne to the board of a US energy firm may help it gain support for a flotation among investors.

Browne is joint head of Riverstone Holdings’ renewable energy funds and is said to be in line for a board position if the listing of its subsidiary Riverstone Energy goes ahead.

One City analyst said: “There’s always money out there for good assets and quality management, but there’s very little appetite in London at the moment for risky exploration and production plays.

“Anything coming to the market has struggled of late. Having said that, with a big name on board and a good set of assets, it could come off.”

Browne, who spent 41 years at BP, has been a partner at Riverstone Holdings since 2007.

Riverstone Energy is reportedly aiming to raise at least £500 million to invest in the oil and gas and renewables sectors, and market-watchers pointed to a recent fundraising from Ophir Energy as one example where the right mix of assets can prove attractive to investors.

The explorer raised more than £520m through a share placing in March to fund its expansion in Africa.

According to PwC, the London market accounted for almost half of the ¤5.2 billion (£4.5bn) raised through flotations across Europe during the second quarter.

Riverstone subsidiary Fieldwood Energy last month agreed to buy $3.75bn (£2.4bn) of Apache’s oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

A spokesman for Riverstone declined to comment.

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