Griffiths Energy International Inc., the Calgary-based oil company which paid a $10.35-million penalty after pleading guilty to bribing African officials, has officially revived its initial public offering aspirations.
The company, which expects to rename itself Caracal Energy Inc. later this month, filed paperwork for a Canadian IPO Tuesday. Griffiths, which holds oil leases in Chad, previously iced hopes of an IPO after discovering its former leadership team bribed Chad's ambassador to Canada. While the company settled, the investigation continues.
Griffiths also wants to list shares on the London Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and Barclays Capital Canada Inc. will co-lead the Canadian IPO, with a helping hand from Canaccord Genuity Corp. and FirstEnergy Capital Corp. Concurrent with the closing of the Canadian IPO, Griffiths will sell shares to investors in the United Kingdom, certain member states to the European Economic Area, the United States, and other jurisdictions, with the same dealers managing the effort.
Founded by the late Bay Street investment banker Brad Griffiths, the company needed a clean slate to pull off an IPO, even though it was able to form a partnership with Glencore International Plc, the Swiss commodity and mining company, as it was wading through its internal investigation.
While Griffiths has settled its legal woes in Canada, the boilerplate on its Tuesday announcement came with a sharp warning.
The prospectus notes that an investment in the common shares of the company is speculative and involves a high degree of risk. "The company's business is subject to the risks normally encountered in the oil and natural gas industry as well as many additional risks associated with conducting oil and gas operations in the Republic of Chad, a developing country in Africa. An investment in the common shares of the company is suitable only for those investors who are willing to risk a loss of some or all of their investment."
(Carrie Tait is a Globe and Mail Energy Reporter.)
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