Former BP Chief Hayward Said to Plan $1.6 Billion Oil Fund IPO in 3 Months

Former BP Plc (BP/) Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward plans to raise at least 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in an initial public offering of an energy investment fund, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The investment vehicle, backed by financier Nathanial Rothschild and veteran Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker Julian Metherell, will sell shares on the London Stock Exchange in the next three months, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the plans are private. Hayward is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG.

The proposed fund has had expressions of interests for the full amount it wants to raise and held talks with sovereign wealth funds in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Singapore, the people said.

Hayward declined to comment.

Hayward, who resigned as BP CEO in October after the company’s Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico last year, is seeking to raise the funds to buy assets from the largest oil companies, which are selling mature assets and directing capital at exploration. London-based BP has sold assets valued at more than $25 billion to help pay for the costs of the disaster.

Former Petrofac Plc chairman Rodney Chase and James Leng, former chairman of Corus Group Plc, may take board positions, the people said.

While the fund has targets in different regions under consideration, no decisions on what to pursue will take place until the funds have been raised, the people said. It plans to return money to investors if they don’t do a deal within two years, the people said.

Rothschild’s Vallar

The as-yet-unnamed fund will be modeled on Rothschild’s Vallar Plc, an investment vehicle that raised 707.2 million pounds in a London initial public offering in July to buy mining and commodity assets. Vallar agreed in November to invest $3 billion in Indonesian coal companies PT Bumi Resources and PT Berau Coal Energy in a stock and cash transaction.

Before becoming CEO in 2007, Hayward headed BP’s exploration and production division for five years, making him responsible for all the company’s oil and gas fields worldwide. He was part of the team that negotiated the TNK-BP joint venture in 2003, creating Russia’s third-largest oil company. He joined the TNK-BP board after stepping down as BP CEO.

Metherell, who retired from Goldman earlier this year, advised U.K. clients including BP. Leng is a non-executive director of TNK-BP and Hayward used to be an independent director on the board of Corus, which was bought by India’s Tata Steel Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stanley Reed in London at sreed13@bloomberg.net; Brett Foley in London at bfoley8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff St.Onge at jstonge@bloomberg.net; Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net.

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