Legal-Bay, a US lawsuit settlement funding firm for BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill plaintiffs, has been in talks with several foreign institutional hedge fund investors as well as traditional banks to raise more funding capital.
Legal-Bay previously announced that it had secured up to USD10m, specifically for BP settlement claims, however the company now feels that that amount of money will not be enough.
British Petroleum has projected that the economic portion of the settlement will result in about USD7bn of exposure, but Legal-Bay believes that the number will be higher.
"We are seeing large amounts of claims coming in for pre-settlement advances north of USD1m. Speaking to our experts across the Gulf region, they believe BP's estimate to be rather low. We have secured funds for the smaller claims, but we are now in talks –and actively seeking- more foreign hedge funds throughout London and Ireland, Spain, as well as in Brazil and other South American countries for large BP settlement funding in excess of USD1m," says chief executive Chris Janish. "We believe the BP settlement in the States represents a rare and unique opportunity where investors can obtain returns north of 40 per cent annually with full collateralisation from the BP lawsuit claim."
The British Oil giant's stock price on NYSE has remained in a tight range of USD36 to USD46 over the last year, as the three year anniversary of the spill approaches in April.
Legal-Bay has reopened talks with La Caixa Bank in Spain, where the company had been in discussions with a large credit facility two years ago. Legal-Bay has also approached two well know hedge funds in London and Sao Palo about making a large commitment to BP settlement funding in the US.
Lawsuit funding in America has become very popular with offshore hedge funds that want aggressive returns, with less risk than the traditional US equities markets.