Small Talk: 3Legs to support platforms for shale gas across Europe

One way to attract attention to your listing is by settling on an unusual name, and few are as unusual as 3Legs Resources. Seeking to work out its roots, we asked the chief executive, Peter Clutterbuck, who pointed us to the Isle of Man and its flag, with its three legs against a red background.

The company, it turns out, was founded by an Isle of Man family, who, Mr Clutterbuck informs us, turned to the flag for inspiration.

Today, 3Legs, which began conditional trading last week, and which will have its first day of unconditional dealings on AIM this week, is still based in the Isle of Man. Its main operations, however, are in northern Poland, where it has six shale gas exploration licences in the Baltic basin covering nearly 4,400 square kilometres.

Investors in the energy sector will be familiar with the excitement generated by moves to extract natural gas from shale or sedimentary rock composed of mud, quartz and calcite. Technical breakthroughs in the extraction process have made this so-called "unconventional gas" more viable, and the other side of the Atlantic has seen much activity in this area, with energy majors rushing to capitalise on the advances. 3Legs – which is chaired by the former Tory energy minister Tim Eggar – is out to do the same sort of thing on this side of the pond.

Around two years ago, it partnered with ConocoPhillips, the US energy giant committing itself to fund the costs of an exploration programme in the Baltic basin. The deal covers data surveys and up to three wells. In return, Conoco gained the right to acquire a 70 per cent interest in the fields. The third of those wells will be completed soon and, beyond that, 3Legs is looking at a dozen or so wells elsewhere in the basin.

Although northern Poland dominates the agenda, the group also holds onshore explorations licences in southern Poland and in south-west Germany, and another two are under application in France. Clearly, there's potential for more deals like the one with Conoco, whose partnership covers only the Baltic basin. This will be one to watch as the operations progress after the listing.



Office suppliers in deal dance

It has been a busy couple of weeks for followers of the office space supplier MWB Business Exchange (MBE). Back at the end of May, the group said it had received a £60m cash proposal from its bigger rival Regus, but that it was minded to back an earlier offer by its majority shareholder, MWB Group, which values the office space group at closer to £30m.

MBE said Regus's indicative proposal was subject to two pre-conditions. First, that its independent directors back the bid and, second, that MWB gives its consent. The two conditions, MBE said, could not be met, as the independent directors thought there was more long-term value in the MWB offer. It also said MWB did support the Regus proposal.

That might have been that, but then Regus hit back, saying its proposal was superior, and offered a bigger premium.

Cue a response from MBE, which said Regus's announcement had introduced "a new pre-condition relating to due diligence, and reserved its right to reduce its indicative offer price by reference to a number of issues".

This, MBE said, "qualifies the extent to which any weight can be attached to the statement by Regus that it remains committed to its offer". Fast forward to June, when Regus said that although it was serious about the offer, it would withdraw the proposal "in six days" if the independent directors of MBE or the MWB board did not enter into discussions by 5pm on 13 June. MWB Group published its response on the day after, reiterating that the Regus offer hinged on certain conditions, and that, as far as it understood, the independent directors had engaged and met with the company.

Then came another, detailed release from MBE, in which its independent directors restated their support for the MWB offer. They also invited Regus to table an unconditional offer.

That is where it would have ended but, of course, Regus shot back. On Friday, the FTSE 250-listed group reaffirmed its offer. Not only that but it said it was "dropping all previously announced reservations, subject to confirmatory due diligence." With the 13 June now upon us, investors must be on the edge of their seats to see what happens next.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most