Providence upbeat after July fund-raising

First-half losses lower after 'near-death' experience

29th September, 2016
Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly

Exploration company Providence Resources has reported reduced loss for the first half of 2016, a period in which it had what chief executive Tony O'Reilly

described to the Sunday Business Post in July as a "near-death experience".

This morning, the company reported pre-tax losses of €4.4m, down from €8.4m a year earlier.

In a statement, O'Reilly said the company was entering the second half of the year with "renewed optimism", after a deal with new and existing investors in July allowed the company to raise new funding.

The company's shares had been suspended for a period earlier this year following an appeal court ruling in London that meant the company owed oil rig supplier Transocean more than $6m. That was on top of a $21.7m debt that was due for payment in May. Falling oil prices had also affected the company.

O'Reilly said today that the July fund-raising had allowed Providence to completely restructure its balance sheet and provide the financial resources and flexibility to advance its extensive portfolio of assets. "Importantly, we were able to repay all of our corporate debt, settle the outstanding litigation with Transocean and provide the appropriate resources to finance the drilling of the high impact Druid exploration well in 2017," he said.

The Druid prospect is in the Porcupine Basin off the west coast. Providence is also in talks on its Barryroe prospect off the Cork coast, with O'Reilly saying that its financial restructuring, along with lower industry costs, had given it increased flexibility in negotiations with potential partners to develop the field.

The company that would eventually become Providence Resources – Atlantic Resources – was set up by Tony O’Reilly senior in 1981.

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