KINA Petroleum has raised about A$18.4 million through the placement of shares worth 19.9 per cent of its capital to a partnership associated with InterOil Corporation founder Phil Mulacek.

The deal saw the partnership, Pie Holdings, agree to subscribe for about 61.8 million new shares in the company at a price of 30 Australian cents each.

Mr Mulacek said he had been impressed by the development of Kina by chief executive Richard Schroder, saying he had worked with the board to secure a solid strategic position in core PNG licence assets.

“The capital infused by our investment will underpin the short and mid-term capital needs of Kina and I look forward to contributing to a solid growth path for the company and its shareholders.”

Kina’s non-executive chairman John Prendiville stepped down from the company board once the placement was completed, with Richard Robinson taking on the role and Pie Holdings associate David Vance joining the board.

Mr Prendiville, who will stay on as a consultant to the company, said it was an opportune time for him to step down, given the fact that the company was well funded for its medium term development and future exploration activities.

“Due to my other work commitments and board roles, I am finding it increasingly difficult to commit the time necessary to Kina,” he said.

“I am also conscious that as we move from a fund raising focus to a development and operating focus on PRL 21, there are other skills that are better suited to guide the company for the next few years.”