[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the September 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

In an era where few privates are finding exits for IPOs, one Permian Basin operator bucked the trends and entered the public markets through an approach rarely seen in the industry. In February, Riley Permian completed a reverse merger with Tengasco Inc. in an all-stock transaction that provided the Oklahoma City-based Riley Permian the IPO it had sought for years and without much fanfare.

In March, the new company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol, “REPX.”

“Starting in January 2020, we got introduced to Tengasco as a reverse merger candidate,” said Riley Permian president Kevin Riley. “We’d seen other reverse merger candidates along the way, but everyone seemed to have a little bit of hair on them, or we couldn’t get evaluations done right, or they had assets which clouded the picture. So, we were never really able to move very far along with other opportunities. But once we saw Tengasco—a pretty clean company with a very small asset base in Kansas—we thought it probably made sense.”

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