COOPER Energy has raised $18.4 million from institutional investors to fund work on its Gippsland basin gas projects, in particular its share of the Sole gas project.

The company placed 83.45 million fully paid ordinary shares to investors at a price of 22 cents each, representing a 12 per cent discount to the company’s 9 May share price.

Cooper said funds from the placement would also be used to strengthen its existing cash reserves and would be used for corporate purposes including capital expenditure.

Company managing director David Maxwell said he was pleased with the support shown from existing shareholders and new investors.

“We regard this placement as a key step for Cooper Energy as we progress the development of our Gippsland basin gas projects,” he said.

“The placement provides the company with funding flexibility as we move to the final investment decision for the Sole gas project.”

The new shares issued under the placement will rank equally with existing Cooper Energy ordinary shares from the date of issue.

Cooper will also carry out a share purchase plan with existing shareholders, aiming to raise $5 million through the sale of shares, also at 22 cents each.