Vista Oil & Gas has burst onto the Mexican stock exchange in a highly successful initial public offering, promising to become a “Latin American champion” in the energy sector.
The venture, backed by Miguel Galuccio, the former boss of Argentina’s YPF, and energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone, raised $650m through the sale of 65m units at $10 per unit, the maximum permitted and well above initial expectations. Vista had initially expected to raise $500m.
It was the third biggest IPO in Mexico since 2015.
“Our vision is to build a new breed of Latin American energy leader. The financial markets have supported Vista’s vision and our new shareholders have shown confidence in our ability to make it a reality,” Mr Galuccio, Vista’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We’re very pleased with the results of the global offering. The quality of institutional investors, both in Mexico and internationally, that have placed their trust in us sends a strong signal.”
Vista is the first oil and gas company to be listed on the Mexican market and opens a new asset class as the country’s first special purpose acquisition vehicle, or SPAC. It is also the first Latin American listed SPAC.
About half the backing came from institutional investors in Mexico, notably pension funds, and the rest from abroad, especially the US.
Vista’s initial focus will be on acquisition targets in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. It has named no company it is interested in buying at this stage.
Riverstone is one of the biggest private equity backers in the energy sector. Its companies include Sierra Oil & Gas, the first private Mexican oil company formed since the country’s landmark reform of the sector to allow private investment. Riverstone also formed Silver Run Acquisition Corp, a similar SPAC headed by former EOG chief Mark Papa, which went public in the first quarter of 2016 and had achieved a market capitalisation of $4.1bn a year later.
Citi and Credit Suisse were global coordinators for the offer.