Lord Browne returns to stock market as Riverstone unveils £1.5bn IPO

Lord Browne of Madingley, the former BP chief executive, is to return to the London Stock Exchange after his latest venture, the private equity firm Riverstone, announced plans to raise up to £1.5bn by listing a new energy vehicle in the City.

Riverstone specialises in energy investments and is best known as the principal backer of Cuadrilla, the UK's most prominent fracking company whose oil exploration activities in the West Sussex village of Balcombe have met with high-profile protests. Cuadrilla was also behind the fracking that was blamed for earth tremors in the Blackpool area in 2011.

Lord Browne, who ran BP between 1995 and 2007 and left after lying in court about his relationship with a man, is a partner at Riverstone and will be a board director of the listed vehicle, Riverstone Energy Ltd (REL). He is also the chairman of Cuadrilla.

The new company, whose shares are expected to start trading on 29 October, will invest across the global energy industry, focusing on exploration and production, according to the announcement.

REL is raising £550m through a placing with five "cornerstone" investors including McNair Group, owned by Robert McNair, who also owns the Houston Texans NFL team. KFI, a private investment vehicle of Louis Bacon, the founder of Moore Capital Management, and the privately owned Hunt Oil are also investors.

The flotation, which is being co-ordinated by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazenove, is part of a trend in which private equity firms use public markets to access fresh capital from retail investors.

KKR, the legendary US leveraged buyout specialist, is in the process of setting up two mutual funds investing in various types of debt.

Sir Robert Wilson, the chairman of REL, said: "Riverstone Energy Ltd presents a unique opportunity for public market investors to gain exposure to the energy sector via Riverstone."

Lord Browne has been a partner of Riverstone since leaving BP six years ago. Apart from chairing Cuadrilla, in which Riverstone has a 44 per cent stake, he co-heads the world's largest renewable energy fund, with $3.5bn in equity.

But Riverstone is much better known for its involvement in fracking – the controversial practice which releases oil and gas from shale by blasting a mixture of chemicals, water and sand into the rock. Cuadrilla is at the forefront of Britain's fledgling fracking industry, the future of which is still highly uncertain but which investors hope could be the country's next boom industry. However, it is facing widespread opposition on concerns that it can cause earth tremors and pollute the water supply.

Lord Browne also chairs the Tate Gallery board of trustees and serves on several advisory boards. He is an adviser to Mikhail Fridman, the Russian oligarch who was a partner to BP in its TNK-BP joint venture.

Since Riverstone was founded in 2000 it has raised about $25bn of cash through seven private investment funds. It has committed more than $20bn to about 100 investments in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Over the summer, Riverstone agreed to pay the US producer Apache Corp $3.75bn (£2.33bn) for its oil and gas field assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot