September 5, 2008 / 7:53 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Libya buys 29.7 pct stake in Circle Oil

Sept 5 (Reuters) - Oil and gas company Circle Oil Plc COPU.L said on Friday a Libyan government fund has picked up a 29.7 percent stake in the company, following a private placement.

Circle Oil said it has raised 33 million pounds ($58.04 million) via the placing of about 174 million shares at 19 pence each.

Libya Oil Holdings, owned by a sovereign wealth fund set up by the Libyan government, and Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank KAUP.ST were the principle participants in the placement.

Libya Oil Holdings invested 19 million pounds, representing a 29.66 percent stake, while Iceland-based Kaupthing Bank HF now holds a 15.6 percent interest after investing 10 million pounds, it added.

Circle Oil said it will use the funds for its exploration programme in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt and plans to drill up to 15 wells by end-2009. (Reporting by Jose Kottanani in Bangalore; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Mike Nesbit)

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