Block Energy is an oil and gas company aiming to capitalize on first-mover advantage to build the largest independent producer in Georgia, a proven but underdeveloped oil-producing nation. In June this year the company completed its IPO journey and is now listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim). Paul Haywood, CEO at Block Energy, talks us through the impact of the IPO on the company’s external support requirements.
You went public in June. What is the most significant impact this has had on the company?
It’s been business as usual in lots of areas, but the main challenge relevant to our listing has been the increased attention on Aim compliance matters. This is mainly because there are various new rules coming into force for Aim, so not only do we need to ensure we meet all existing rules, but we’re also always working toward meeting the future regulation we’re expecting.
Who are the main advisers you’ve had to engage with following the IPO process?
We’ve seen a significant increase in our contracting activity post-IPO. Legal support was obviously a massive part of the IPO process and continues to be now that our listing is complete and we’re moving into our initial phase of work.
Our main port of call, however, has definitely been our nominated adviser (Nomad), which has been vital in the work I outlined above, to ensure we are compliant in all our current and future activity. We’ve also been very active with material events, and our Nomad has been invaluable in helping us to ensure these are announced to the market.
Are there any advisers or suppliers you worked with pre-IPO whose role has increased now you’re listed?
Executing the brand strategy we developed before coming to market is taking the lion’s share of our resources so, for us, it would definitely be our marketing and PR support. Comparing activity pre and post-listing, that’s probably the area that’s jumped exponentially, but it’s a crucial spend. Being a newly listed company means you need to build up your following from scratch and ensure people are paying attention to what you’re doing. This will ultimately enable us to prove our value across our asset base, and increase this value in the process.
What would be your main advice regarding external advisers for others currently considering or going through the IPO process?
Each element of the IPO process plays an equally important role in terms of the end result, so my advice would be to ensure all external advisers are working in tandem with the same goal in sight. When it comes to selecting the right adviser, taking the time to carefully consider which can meet your company’s exact requirements throughout the listing process and beyond will definitely pay off in the long run.