Bahamas Petroleum Company, the oil and gas exploration company with significant prospective resources in licences in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is pleased to provide the following update in regards to the launch of a Bahamian incorporated mutual fund (the "Fund").
In December 2019, the Company advised of the launch of the Fund, established for the sole purpose of enabling qualified Bahamian investors to invest in the Company, and importantly thereby have an interest in the Company's nationally significant project. The fund is being managed by Leno Corporate Services Limited ("Leno") under the terms of the Fund Investment Memorandum. A copy of the Fund Investment Memorandum can be found on Leno's website at www.lenobahamas.com.
The Fund was opened to initial subscriptions by qualifying Bahamian investors on 6 January 2020 at a subscription price of 2p - being the exact same price as was available to UK investors at the most recent open offer and placing in November 2019. That initial subscription period, scheduled to end on Friday 7 February 2020 was extended at the request of Leno to Wednesday 12 February 2020, so as to enable them, as the Fund administrator, to complete processing of late subscriptions received. To-date, Leno has received subscriptions in Bahamian Dollars totalling $914,000 (approximately £700,000) and accordingly, Leno has applied for, and BPC will issue to the Fund, 35,337,328 ordinary shares, based upon the subscription price of 2p per share (the "Fund Shares").
Under the terms of the Fund going forward, month end valuations will be undertaken during which new Fund investor subscription and redemption submissions will be processed, although a more frequent valuation interval is permitted at the election of the Fund directors. At each of these valuation dates, the Fund may utilise net subscription proceeds to either purchase additional shares in BPC on the open market or, at the Company's discretion, subscribe for new ordinary shares in the Company at the then prevailing market price.
Given the Company's share price is currently significantly greater than the initial subscription price of 2 pence per share, BPC has advised Leno that it will not accommodate any further late or additional subscriptions entitlements at this level. However, seeking to ensure the opportunity for further local Bahamian participation in the project is maintained as the venture gains greater public profile, the Company has agreed to fix an issue price for subscription requests, at the first valuation event on 31 March 2020 only, at 3.35p per share, being the closing market price of BPC shares on 12 February 2020. This subscription price will only apply for up to a maximum of 40 million additional shares.
All proceeds from the initial and subsequent subscriptions will be received by BPC in Bahamian dollars, and consequently will be applied by BPC against its domestic Bahamian costs, and as such does not form a direct part of the Company's capital strategy for financing of the Perseverance #1 well.
Application will be made for the Fund Shares to be admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and it is expected that admission will take place and trading in the Fund Shares will commence from 8:00am on 21 February 2020 ("Admission").
Following Admission, the Company's issued share capital will consist of 2,170,100,114 ordinary shares, with each ordinary share carrying the right to one vote. The Company does not hold any ordinary shares in treasury. This figure of 2,170,100,114 ordinary shares may therefore be used by shareholders in the Company, as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change in their interest in, the share capital of the Company under the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.
Simon Potter, Chief Executive Officer of Bahamas Petroleum Company, said:
"The mutual fund initiative was set up with the straightforward goal of allowing Bahamian investors the opportunity to invest in the outcome of our potentially transformational exploration well, targeting 0.77bn to 1.44bn barrels of oil, which is to be drilled in the first half of 2020. An opportunity they would otherwise have effectively been precluded from.
Further, by offering this opportunity at a subscription price of 2p, potential Bahamian investors have been extended this opportunity under the same conditions as had recently applied to UK investors alike. Accordingly, the fund has and will continue to accomplish its objective, in creating a vehicle through which Bahamian investors can, should they so wish, participate now or in future in the fortunes of the Company.
I would emphasise for all shareholders' benefit that any funds raised from the Fund initiative, now and in the future, will be additive to our existing financial resources but are not essential to meeting the estimated costs of drilling, for which costs we have been implementing a staged, coordinated funding strategy, as previously communicated to the market."