BP disaster boss Tony Hayward back in the market

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The Independent Online

Former BP boss Tony Hayward aims to raise around £1billion with a June listing of an acquisition vehicle that will target oil assets.

Mr Hayward, who resigned from BP less than a year ago amid a barrage of criticism for his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is one of the founders of Vallares, an energy investment vehicle which has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, founded with financier Nat Rothschild, former Goldman Sachs partner Julian Metherall and investment manager Tom Daniel, will target oil and gas assets in emerging markets worth between £3 billion and £8 billion.

Mr Hayward became a familiar face in the wake of the fatal Deepwater Horizon explosion last year as he faced the anger of US politicians and was accused of making a number of PR gaffes.

Mr Hayward famously told reporters "I want my life back" at the height of the oil spill disaster last year and was also criticised for going sailing off the Isle of Wight while the crisis unfolded.

Mr Hayward stepped down from his post as chief executive shortly after he was grilled by a US congressional committee in a public hearing.

After his departure, he remained a member of the board on BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP and later became senior independent director of commodities trader Glencore, which listed in London last month.

As Vallares unveiled plans to launch its own stock market flotation, Mr Hayward said: "We will have the cash, access to funds and the capability to unlock value where the current owners have neither the capital nor technical expertise to develop assets."

Vallares, which has set a placing price of 1000p per share, said it would use the expertise of its founders to identify takeover targets.

The company will follow the model of Mr Rothschild's mining investment vehicle Vallar, which raised £707 million last year in a stock market flotation and acquired a coal business in Indonesia.

Vallares said: "The directors believe that increasing global industrialisation and urbanisation, particularly in Asia and the emerging markets, is likely to lead to increased global demand for commodities."

The company said it would focus on Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

It added that Mr Rothschild and Mr Hayward have a "global network of relationships with key decision-makers".

Vallares shares will be allocated on or around June 20.