“I would like to thank Larry for the significant contribution he has made to Chariot over the past 9 years,” said chairman George Canjar
Chariot Oil & Gas Limited () told investors that Larry Bottomley has stepped down from his position as chief executive and will leave the company with immediate effect.
Adonis Pouroulis, a non-executive director and a founder of the business, will become acting chief executive and the management team will be strengthened with chief financial officer Julian Maurice-Williams and exploration director Duncan Wallace joining the board with immediate effect.
The company noted that it has a strong cash position, with around US$9.6mln in the bank and no asset commitments, and, given the current lack of market appetite for exploration activity, it plans to evaluate other opportunities.
Meanwhile, Chariot said it remains committed to maximising the value of the Anchois discovery – a ‘low risk’ field development in the Lixus licence offshore Morocco – and it remains in active farm-out processes for its assets.
“I leave Chariot with a tremendous asset and an extremely talented team in place to nurture that asset and deliver the success that the company’s stakeholders deserve,” Bottomley said in a statement.
George Canjar, Chariot chairman, added: “We remain fully committed to further progressing our Lixus asset, as we believe the licence contains considerable upside potential, and is attractive to a wide range of businesses across the energy value chain.
“The new team in place have considerable entrepreneurial experience and the required in house skill sets to pursue other opportunities available to us. We will keep our stakeholders appraised on developments as appropriate and we look forward to updating the market in due course.”
Amidst the strategy review, Stockbroker Peel Hunt repeated an ‘add’ recommendation and a 4p price target for Chariot, suggesting more than 100% upside to the current price of 1.95p.
Analyst Werner Riding, in a note, said: “this feels like a significant moment for Chariot, where it has decided to pursue other avenues in an attempt to create value for shareholders by ‘evaluating other opportunities available to it’.
“We interpret this as meaning that all options are on the table, from continuing to pursue a farm-out of its key Lixus development project, to an entire corporate sale. With US$9.6m in cash as at end 2019, the business is adequately capitalised for all planned near-term activities.”
— UPDATED to include analyst comments–