LONDON (SHARECAST) - Valiant Petroleum, an exploration and production energy company focused on the UK and Norwegian continental shelves, has put itself in the shop window.
The group said it is launching a review of the options open to the company in order to maximise shareholder value. These options include a "formal sale process" as defined in The Takeover Code, which means that interested parties may make a merger proposal on a confidential basis.
Other options being looked at include acquisitions of assets, including "farm-in" stakes, while on the other side of the coin, the company is also open to the idea of farming-out some of its interest in assets, or disposing of existing assets.
In fact, just about all options appear to be on the table, including poodling along trying to grow organically.
"Valiant has built a strong foundation as a full cycle exploration and production company and as a board we are keen to ensure we position this business to achieve its complete potential. This is therefore a timely review which we approach with a determination to assess the full range of our strategic options," said Peter Buchanan, Chief Executive officer of Valiant.
The announcement took some of the sting out of a disappointing set of interim figures which were blighted by a write-off of $76.4m of costs relating to unsuccessful exploration attempts.
The write-down pushed the company into the red at the half-year stage, but the loss before tax of $43.5m was at least an improvement on the loss of $79.5m in the first half of 2011.
Production guidance for the year remains unchanged, with output heavily weighted to the second half.
The group said it is fully funded for 2013 exploration and development programme.
"The exploration programme has been disappointing, although the Orchid discovery has promise," said company boss Peter Buchanan.
Valiant's preliminary work show there to be 4m to 7m barrels of resources at the Orchid well, which has potential to be part of an area wide development in the future.
Four other wells drilled in the first half of 2012 all turned out to be duds.
"The longer term exploration portfolio has considerably strengthened both in Norway and the UK and includes higher impact prospects to be drilled in 2013 and 2014," Buchanan said.