Nigeria’s biggest quoted oil and gas company is in the race to acquire the shallow water business of the local unit of American multinational oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, Chief Financial Officer Emeka Onwuka confirmed in a statement on behalf of management on Monday.
The ongoing negotiation has been a subject of media speculation lately. Seplat Energy said in a regulatory filing seen by PREMIUM TIMES and obtained from the Nigerian Exchange that it is conducting the deal with a partner.
“Deliberations are ongoing and accordingly, there can be no certainty as to the outcome,” the document noted. “A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate, in line with regulatory requirements,” it said.
The mergers and acquisitions market in Nigeria has been particularly buoyant this year with two major deals consummated in this month alone including Rainoil’s acquisition of 61 per cent stake in Eterna and Ardova’s recent takeover of Enyo Retail and Supply.
ExxonMobil has been inviting bids for disposal of its assets and surplus materials, according to information on its website, a decision that has made Lagos-based Seplat one of its latest suitors.
This month, Seplat – dual-listed in Lagos and London – announced it would commence its gas processing project, which it holds in a joint venture with the Nigerian Gas Company, by the middle of next year.
The project christened ANOH has so far received funding in the sum of $680 million for its two phases and is anticipated to deliver 300 million standard cubic feet of gas in the first phase according to S&P Global Platts.
Shares in Seplat were trading up 2.56 per cent on the London Stock Exchange at £0.80 per unit at 12:12 West Africa Time on Monday following the news. It was trading at N695 in Lagos about the same time, yet to record any movement.
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