Cobalt International seeks about $955M in IPO

AP News
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 12:06 PM

Cobalt International Energy Inc., an oil exploration and production company, said Friday it is seeking to raise about $955 million in an initial public offering in the next month.

The Houston company said in its prospectus it expects to price the sale of 63 million shares at $15 to 17 per share. After deducting estimated offering expenses, underwriting discounts and commissions, Cobalt said it expects to raise about $955 million, assuming the offering is priced at $16 per share.

If an overallotment option is fully exercised, the net proceeds will be about $1.1 billion, the company said.

Cobalt said its chief interest is in the unrealized hydrocarbon potential in the Gulf of Mexico and off the western coast of Africa near Angola and Gabon.

The company was established in 2005 by industry executives and private equity investors who believed that "industry-leading data," recently available seismic technologies, industry contacts and adequate funding could help lead to the acquisition of a deep water inventory "that would rival the supermajor oil companies."

The company said it intends to use the proceeds from the offering to finance drilling and exploration through 2011, capital spending and general corporate purposes.

Over time, Cobalt will use a broader range of financing alternatives and strategies to pay for its business plan, "which will require substantial amounts of additional capital," it said.

Cobalt said it also may acquire leasehold interests.

The company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CIE.

Credit Suisse Securities LLC, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. are among the underwriters.