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Opinion

Rothchild: Overflowing with energy

Nathaniel Rothschild’s latest investment vehicle pits huge reward potential against substantial downside risk.

Equity markets might be jittery but it seems investors can’t get enough of cash shell funds backed by Nathaniel Rothschild and friends.

Last month Rothschild’s latest venture, an investment vehicle called Vallares, raised £1.35 billion ($2.16 billion) in London after placing 133 million ordinary shares at £10 each. Vallares’ four main partners, including former BP boss Tony Hayward, have also invested £100 million, the first £20 million of which will be forfeited if an acceptable investment is not made within two years. If the venture succeeds, however, the four men’s investment could more than quadruple in value. The vehicle’s remit is to invest in oil and gas companies in the emerging markets.

Vallares follows the successful listing 12 months ago of its sister company, Vallar, which raised just over £700 million. Rothschild founded Vallar with James Campbell, former head of Anglo American’s coal division, to invest in mining assets. Last month it announced a deal with Bumi, which is part of Indonesia’s Bakrie group.

Vallar is currently valued at about £2.5 billion, which, together with the amount raised by Vallares, serve as remarkable statements of faith from investors in these vehicles that have absolutely no track record.

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