A&O, Links guide energy company Ophir’s debut on London exchange

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters took the advisory roles in the London IPO of Africa-focused oil and gas company Ophir Energy.

The company, backed by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, expects to raise around $375m (£236m) from the listing, with shares priced at 250p. The listing valued the company at £798.7m.

The IPO comes on the back of five discoveries from eight wells the company has drilled since 2008, including major gas exploration accomplishments off the coast of Tanzania, together with BG Group. Ophir plans to drill another 11 wells in four countries in the next 18 months.

It is one of the first energy companies to float in ­London since the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) replaced the Committee of European Securities Regulators (Cesr) at beginning of this year as Europe’s financial markets regulator.

Linklaters acted for Ophir, a client since 2005 in a number of areas, ­particularly assets work. The team was led by corporate partner Nick Rumsby, assisted by corporate associates Michael Honan and Charles Turner.

Joint bookrunners Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Caze­nove, both lead managers, were advised by A&O, as was bookrunner RBC Capital Markets, together with syndicate members Oriel Securities and Standard Bank.

The A&O team was headed by London ECM partner Mark Dighero, alongside US-qualified ECM partner Daniel Epstein and partner Louise Wolfson, both in London. They were assisted by associates Michael Bloch, Leigh-Anne Males and Paul Porter. Senior associate James Burton advised on tax aspects.

London-based group general counsel Jacqueline Knox advised Ophir in-house. She was hired earlier this year from Herbert Smith, where she was a senior associate in the London corporate energy team.