November 14, 2005
Australian company, Po Valley Energy Limited (“PVE”) is to accelerate its gas exploration and development programs in Northern Italy under a capital raising announced today.
Behind the new exploration and development drive is a placement by Po Valley of 12.5 million ordinary shares with US fund manager, Harbert Management Corporation, at 70 cents a share, to raise A$8.75 million.
The first tranche of 10.5 million shares will be issued this month with a second tranche of 2 million shares to be issued, subject to shareholder approval, following an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in December 2005.
The total placement would give Harbert — which has a diversified investment portfolio totaling US$4.7 billion in capital and assets - a 15% stake in Po Valley’s enlarged share capital of 82.5 million shares.
This will rank the US investor as the second largest shareholder in the Australian listed European gas explorer.
“The capital raising underpins the next stage of development of our Italian gas assets. The funds will allow us to drill the new Pandino development field and drive the other fields towards commercial production,” Po Valley’s Chief Executive, Mr Michael Masterman, said today.
“The placement to Harbert at a 50% premium to the Company’s current market price sends a clear signal of confidence to equities markets about the quality of our assets, and the status of our current exploration and development programs,” Mr Masterman said.
Harbert is active particularly in real estate, private capital and public securities investments and has grown its funds under management from US$1.5 billion in 2002 to US$4.7 billion by the September quarter this year.
November and December 2005 will be a particularly active period for Po Valley, with Mr Masterman also announcing today that:
- The drill rig is on site at Sillaro and initial operations have commenced. Drilling of the Sillaro 1 Deviation will commence next week.
- Confirmatory testing at Santa Maddelana originally scheduled in late October, will commence today and run for a period of 12 days
- Vitalba testing will commence following the completion of the Sillaro drilling and testing program
Po Valley listed on the ASX last year and prior to the Harbert placement announced today, had 70 million shares on issue.
The Company has four gas field development projects, and exploration interests, in the Po River Valley, the main gas production zone in Italy, and which hosts an estimated 105 billion cubic feet of Proven and Probable gas reserves.
Further information on Po Valley Energy and Harbert Management Corporation can be found at: www.povalley.com
Michael Masterman Po Valley Energy 0417 851 303
Kevin Skinner Field Public Relations (08) 8234 9555 / 0414 822 631
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