Nimrodi Gas Venture Prospecting for Public Shareholders

Israel Land Energy, Ofer Nimrodi's entry into the oil & gas exploration game, put out a prospectus Tuesday for its first public issue of shares. The firm, a subsidiary of Nimrodi's Israel Land Development Co., will try to float 13% of the company, hoping to raise NIS 130 million at a company valuation of NIS 1 billion. The offer will entail 13.8 million shares at a minimum price of NIS 9.41 apiece, in sets of 10. ILE, along with parent ILDC, holds controlling shares in the offshore Mira and Sarah gas exploration licenses.

IBI Investment House will lead a consortium of underwriters on the public tender, and will include Israel Discount Bank's underwriting arm, Rosario Capital, Barak Capital and Meitav Investment House. It also includes Clal Finance Underwriting, whose chairman Tzahi Sultan happens to hold a piece of the action in the exploration partnerships led by ILE.

The date of the public tender wasn't announced, but TheMarker has learned that it is expected to take place late next week, barring unexpected developments.

The Mira and Sarah licenses are located in the deep sea 40 kilometers west of Hadera, adjacent to the Tamar and Dalit fields. ILE has a direct 27.3% share in the licenses plus another 19.2% share through its subsidiary Emmanuelle Energy. Parent company ILDC holds a 5% share directly, bringing the group's holdings to a total of 51.5%.

The other partners in the licenses are Sultan's Modiin Energy with 20.5%, Modiin's parent - the IDB group - with 5%, Israel Petroleum Company, owned by the Ofer family and Canada's Bontan, with 13% and GeoGlobal Resources (GGR ) with 10%.

Results for three-dimensional seismic surveys of Mira and Sarah are expected to be announced by the end of the year. Their findings will indicate the probabilities for finding oil or gas deposits at the two sites and their potential quantities of reserves. Ofer Nimrodi has already announced plans for exploratory drilling in Mira in the second half of 2011.