VENTURES AFRICA – Leading Nigerian energy company Oando has offered its third rights issue in an attempt to raise capital to fund the $1.79 billion acquisition of the Nigerian operations of US multinational energy corporation ConocoPhillips, and the partial settlement of its existing debt.
Oando plans to raise 52.9 billion naira ($340 million) through the exercise which would see its issued shares increase to 6.7 billion from 2.27 billion.
Wale Tinubu, the company CEO, said in an official statement: “We count on the consistent support of our shareholders to seize the opportunity to take up their rights and benefit from the higher-margin value creation the [acquisition] offers.”
Since its share value climaxed at 243 naira ($1.5) per share in 2008, the company has seen its share price plummet. Currently, Oando share trades for about 7 cent/share on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The company urged its shareholders to subscribe for more shares to help boost the fundraising.
According to Financial Mail, no financial institution has stepped up to underwrite the issue. Many large emerging market fund managers, including those of Mark Mobius’s Templeton Emerging Markets Group and HSBC, have let go of most of their Oando stock in recent weeks.
In December, Oando PLC, announced its affiliate Oando Energy Resources (OER), which is listed on the Toronto bourse (TSX), entered into agreements with ConocoPhillips (COP) to acquire its entire business interests in Nigeria for an estimated cash of $1.79 billion including customary adjustments.
The agreement included the purchase of 2 onshore businesses and 2 offshore operations which includes Conoco Exploration and Production, which holds a 95 percent operating interest in OML 131.
Oando Energy Resources (OER) currently has a broad suite of producing, development and exploration assets in the Gulf of Guinea (predominantly in Nigeria) with current production of approximately 3,300 barrels of oil per day from the Abo Field, (OML 125) and an additional 1,500 barrels of oil per day from the Ebendo Field, (OML 56). OER has been specifically structured to take advantage of current opportunities for indigenous companies in Nigeria, which currently has the largest population in Africa, and one of the largest oil and gas resources in Africa.