Ophir Declines to 10-Month Low as Och-Ziff, Mittal Sell Shares

Ophir Energy Plc, a U.K. oil and gas explorer in Africa, slumped to a 10-month low in London trading after shareholders agreed to sell stock.

Ophir dropped as much as 9.3 percent to 471 pence, the lowest intraday price since March 26. It fell the most among companies on the FTSE All-Share Index, racking up a trading volume of more than triple the three-month daily average.

Investors are offering as many as 36 million shares, about 9 percent of Ophir’s issued equity, according to a statement from Credit Suisse Group AG, the bookrunner for sellers Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and Mittal Investments Sarl. The stock is priced at the lower end of guidance of 475 pence to 490 pence in a so-called accelerated bookbuild, the terms show.

The investors are offloading shares after BG Group Plc, Ophir’s partner in Tanzania, said Feb. 5 that it expects to slow development of a liquefied natural gas project in the East African nation because of a lack of infrastructure and government capacity to handle large investments.

Ophir shares traded at 475.5 pence as of 9:40 a.m. London time, valuing the company at 1.9 billion pounds ($3 billion).

Separately, the London-based explorer said its Mzia-2 well off Tanzania confirmed the extension of a discovery drilled earlier by its Mzia-1 well. Ophir found a 200-meter (650-foot) vertical gas column at the site in the country’s Block 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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