RockRose entrepreneur comes back to excite the Ferrari driving City crowd


NDREW Austin is back. The energy entrepreneur is famed in City circles for building up North Sea oil business RockRose, turning the £13 million he raised into a sale price of £298 million.

City folk who were in early on that trade, many of them now purring around the Square Mile’s deserted streets in Ferrari’s, are likely to want more.

Today Austin raised £31.75 million for his new vehicle Kistos, a green energy play that aims to cash in on the shift to a lower carbon future via hydrogen storage and other environmentally friendly power.

Austin has put £10.5 million in himself, with the rest coming from big London institutions and some rich folk who think he can make them richer still.

Austin, who is 55 and lives in Chelsea, made £66 million personally from the sale of RockRose last summer. If you think £66 million is enough to make you stop and go home, that is precisely why you do not have £66 million.

Shares in Kistos open on AIM this Wednesday and are likely to be closely followed.

 Austin says: “We have established Kistos to invest in energy and the energy transition, with the intention of pursuing a rigorous approach to asset selection and active forward-looking stewardship. The Directors believe that the UK’s energy transition agenda will create opportunities arising from the Government objective of meeting net zero by 2050.”

The wider market today was steady, with airlines, oil and banks all up, while drug companies came off recent highs.

AstraZeneca fell 159p to 8157p on news that its potential Covid vaccine is “only” 70% effective. One bleary eyed broker eyeing his screens noted: “I wish I were 70% effective.”

GlaxoSmithKline could not resist the trend, falling 18p to 1375p. BA owner IAG led the risers, up 6p to 164p on hope holidays are back on the cards. Shell was up 40p at 1235p, and BP was up 7p at 252p for the same reason.

The FTSE 100 edged up 22.7 points to 6374.4.

Newspaper group Daily Mail and General Trust rose 18p to 699p on solid results for the year to September, which show a strong financial position despite the hit from Covid, which hurt the exhibitions arm in particular.

Profits fell 36% to £72 million, but the board feels confident enough in the future to up the dividend slightly by 24.1p.

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