Centrica’s former boss reportedly walked away with millions after selling one of Britain’s largest independent gas producers
Bumper payday: Sam Laidlaw
The former Centrica boss is walking away with millions after selling one of Britain’s largest independent gas producers.
Neptune was sold yesterday to Italian oil giant Eni for £3.9 billion, marking a great payday for Sam Laidlaw and his shareholders.
Laidlaw ran UK gas owner Centrica between 2006 and 2014 and is executive chairman of Neptune, which he founded a year after leaving the energy company.
The 67-year-old and the rest of Neptune’s management team own just under 1 percent of the company, meaning they’ll leave with up to £39 million.
Laidlaw was vilified in the tabloids as ‘Sammy Two Pools’ after seeking permission to add an additional pool to his Cotswold country home in October 2013. The old Etonian Laidlaw’s father was Sir Christophor Laidlaw, Deputy Chairman of British Petroleum.
The acquisition – the largest cash transaction in the European oil and gas industry in almost a decade – is also good news for Neptune’s largest shareholders. Private equity firms Carlyle and CVC Partners own 30.6 per cent and 20.4 per cent respectively, thus getting £1.2bn and £800m.
The Chinese Communist Party will also receive a bonanza payout through a Chinese investment fund it owns.
The state-owned China Investment Corporation, which owns 49 percent of the company, will receive £1.9 billion.
Neptune supplies about 12 percent of Britain’s gas and produces from fields in eight countries, including the UK, Norway, Germany, Algeria, the Netherlands and Indonesia.
In an announcement yesterday, Neptune said Eni will buy the firm’s businesses, which will remain owned by existing investors, for £2 billion.
Var Energi, the Norwegian listed subsidiary of Eni, will buy Neptune’s Norway business for £1.8 billion.
Laidlaw said yesterday, “I am incredibly proud of Neptune’s achievements over the past five years – and the hard work and dedication of so many people in our organization, who, along with our shareholders, have contributed to the growth and success of the company. company. ‘
He said the transaction marked “a new and exciting phase for Neptune.” He said there are “significant growth opportunities that will benefit from the increased scale and available resources of Eni and Var Energi.”