The billionaire Perrodo family collected an almost $900 million windfall from UK operations, a small part of their multinational oil company that has benefited from a surge in energy prices.
The clan’s Perenco UK Ltd. paid them a total of £734 million ($892 million) in dividends between the beginning of 2022 and June of this year, according to a filing this month. The energy producer reported a 72% rise in comprehensive income last year to £547 million.
The dividends are rare and elevated compared with what the closely held company has reported previously. A £100 million payout in 2019 was the only other payment in financial reports going back to 2014.
Perenco’s UK company results provide only a glimpse into one of Europe’s largest independent oil producers, whose operations span the globe and include large assets in Africa. The holding company that controls the UK operations and forms the bulk of the Perrodos’ fortune is based in the Bahamas and doesn’t publish earnings.
The payout from Perenco’s North Sea and Wytch Farm oil fields in the UK shows the family benefited from a surge in prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as did giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Shell Plc, which posted record profits last year and are providing large dividends and share buybacks for investors.
The Perrodo family has a total net worth of about $8.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The heirs include Francois Perrodo, 46, Perenco’s chairman and son of the late founder; sister Nathalie Samani, 41; brother Bertrand Perrodo, 39; and mother Ka Yee Wong Perrodo, 72, also known as Carrie. The family is based in London and are French citizens, filings show.
A London-based representative for Perenco declined to comment.
Over the past three decades, the company has built a business buying stakes in mature oil fields and aging installations — often from energy majors — and wringing out the remaining hydrocarbons. Perenco’s annual gross production of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day comes from 14 countries, according to its website. The biggest producer nations for the group are Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Vietnam. It pumps about 40,000 barrels a day in the UK.
“We want it to stay as a family business, It means we’re not looking for the growth, we’re not looking to pick up the share price,” Chief Executive Officer Benoit de la Fouchardiere said Wednesday in an interview on the sidelines of a Cape Town conference. “If we have to stay at the size we are today, we’re more than happy to maintain this level of activity.”
Founder Hubert Perrodo, son of a Breton fisherman, created Perenco in 1992 to acquire oil and gas assets. His son Francois took over as chairman after Hubert, an avid polo player and skier, died in a hiking accident in the French Alps in 2006 at the age of 59. Passionate about fast cars, Francois regularly participates in races and has an extensive collection.
The Perrodo’s London-based family office, BNF Capital, has broadened investments to real estate, private equity, battery metals and uranium.