Wildcat Petroleum plc (LON:WCAT) Chairman Mandhir Singh caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the funding MoU, what this means for Wildcat shareholders and why investors should buy shares in the company.
Q1: Mandhir, obviously some exciting news today, can you just give us some details on whom these third party investors are?
A1: Firstly, this is not exciting news, this is game changing news. And it’s taken me a whole year to negotiate these investors getting behind me.
The investors want to remain anonymous at the moment but their details have been lodged with our financial advisor for the FCA to have a look at. You can make an educated guess who we are dealing with here, super high net worths, family offices, major institutions, sovereign wealth funds, these are big hitters and they’re being advised by a team that have raised billions of dollars for oil companies in the past.
So, that is why it’s taken me a year for them to get behind me, and this is a total game changer. It means we can implement our plans and really scale up once we get going.
Q2: Will this $25 million be enough for your plans in Sudan?
A2: $25 million is hopefully going to the initial amount from these people, it should be enough to secure at least one block and drill a handful of wells. My gut feeling is once they see how much money we start making, significantly more money will be made available. $25 million for this group, it’s pocket change.
Another thing I want to mention, it’s just not $25 million for Sudan, it’s $25 million for other countries as well. So, we’re active in South Sudan, we’re active in Chad so if we can source suitable projects, they’ll give us an initial $25 million for those countries as well so it’s not just Sudan, we can have deals in Sudan, Chad, South Sudan, and we’ll get $25 million for each of those countries. So, it total, we’re talking about $75 million.
These people are used to investing hundreds of millions so once we’re up and running, we get the oil pumping, we expect much more funds from this group and from other groups we’re talking to.
Q3: Does the deal involve investing directly into the assets? If it does, what’s the significance of that work for Wildcat Petroleum shareholders?
A3: The significance is quite massive because it means that I don’t have to go to shareholders asking for large amounts of money constantly. Theoretically, these investors could pay for the production sharing agreement, pay for the production and our shareholders get a free ride, that’s one end of the spectrum.
So, if we require $100 million to buy some oil fields, theoretically, all that money could come from these investors and Wildcat would take its share of the action without having to outlay lots of money. Also, it means we don’t have to borrow money so we don’t have to go into debt which is the big problem with oil companies.
So, hopefully we’ll get major production funded by the third party investors.
Q4: The RNS mentions for the potential for the party to invest in other African countries, how much backing then will this group give you for countries outside of Sudan?
A4: We’ve been in talks for a year, they’re familiar and up to speed with what we are doing in Chad and South Sudan.
This group is quite massive, the people that advise the deals I could dig out, it was in the billions over the years so this is a major group of investors with deep pockets and that is why it took me a year to get them behind me.
Now, they are behind me and once they see the deals coming through and how well I negotiate the deals and how much money everyone’s going to make, I suspect the floodgates will be open and substantial amounts of money will be made available to us.
We’re also getting interest from other groups so watch this space.
Q5: Does this investor group coming aboard at this particular time indicate that there’s a deal close?
A5: No comment.
Q6: In summary then, why should an investor buy shares in Wildcat Petroleum, would you say?
A6: We’ve got access to world class assets, these assets contain billions of barrel and we’ve now got access to world class financing.
We think we can become a mid-tier oil company, there’s nothing stopping us becoming the next Tullow Oil without the downside. In the not too distant future, people will see exactly the scale of what we’ve got planned because people are making the assumption that a lack of news means nothing’s going on.
Well, I can assure shareholders a lot of stuff is going on and we aiming towards the Tullow-type model but without the debt.
So, we’ll see what happens but I’m extremely happy, this is a total game changer for us and once we get the relationship sorted out then investors will see exactly how much money. Companies like Savannah are running around with hundreds of millions of dollars, our deal making ability means we only need a fraction of that amount of money to be on par with these companies.
Time will tell but I’m extremely happy about this backing. This is game changing news and it’s just not Sudan, it’s all the countries in the region; Chad, South Sudan so watch this space.