SEPLAT Seeks $500m Listing on Nigerian, London Stock Exchanges

Foremost indigenous independent oil and gas company with a strategic focus on Nigeria, SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company, has unveiled plans to proceed with an initial public offer of its ordinary shares to raise $500 million.
The company also plans to apply for admission of its ordinary shares to the standard listing segment of the official list of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) main market as well as  the official trading list of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Upon listing, SEPLAT will be the first Nigerian company to have its ordinary shares dual listed on both the LSE and the NSE, according to a statement issued by the company yesterday.
Chairman of the company, Dr. ABC Orjiako, said in the statement that the $500 million proceeds of the global offer would allow the company to further implement its business strategy, which includes acquiring new assets.
He said SEPLAT has a disciplined approach to acquiring new onshore and shallow water assets in the Niger Delta, adding that this would be strictly adhered to.
“We will be proud to be the first dual-listed Nigerian company to have its ordinary shares listed on the LSE and NSE simultaneously,” he added.
Orjiako said SEPLAT was a leader among the emerging indigenous Nigerian oil and gas operators.
“Our company was founded by Nigerians for the purpose of investing in Nigerian oil and gas opportunities and we are proud to have been the first Nigerian company to acquire and become operator of onshore oil and gas assets from international oil companies,” he said.
According to him, since SEPLAT commenced operations in 2010, it had increased oil production and reserves year-on-year, and had grown its revenues and its net profit each year.
He said the company’s target is to grow gross operated production of oil and condensate to 85,000 barrels per day by the end of 2016, with at least 100 per cent annual reserves replacement from its existing assets.
“We also plan to use our strategically located gas infrastructure to rapidly commercialise our gas reserves, as the Nigerian gas market develops. Our forward-looking targets are based on a tangible work plan, in-house operational capability and an innovative host community engagement programme,” he said.
“We are confident that SEPLAT will continue to succeed and flourish as a leading Nigerian oil and gas operating company with a proven track record for delivering value to its investors, while fostering indigenous participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. We are committed to maintaining our track record and achieving our growth aspirations through sound corporate governance and best practice,” he added.
The company said it intends to use $48 million of the net proceeds of the global offer to repay in full all outstanding amounts under its shareholder loan, “while the remaining majority of the net proceeds will be available for acquiring and developing new acquisitions, and/or pay down any additional debt raised in connection therewith, of both onshore and shallow offshore acreages, assets or joint venture farm-ins”.
BNP Paribas and Standard Bank Plc are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners; while Renaissance Securities (Cyprus) Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and RBC Europe Limited are acting as the joint bookrunner, (alongside the joint bookrunners).
Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited and Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited have been appointed as the Nigerian joint issuing houses in relation to the Nigerian offering.
In July 2010, SEPLAT acquired a 45 per cent participating interest in, and was appointed operator of a portfolio of three onshore producing oil mining leases (OMLs 4, 38 and 41) located in the Niger Delta.
Meanwhile,  a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed March 20, 2014 for hearing of application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit brought before it by an indigenous oil company, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited against Chevron.
The plaintiff, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited had sought an interlocutory injunction from the court, seeking among other things the pronouncement that it won the bid conducted by Chevron for the acquisition of its 40 per cent equity interest in three oil blocks – Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55 as well as restraining Chevron or its agents from conducting further bid from the already concluded process.
Brittania-U had claimed in its prayers that it was the preferred bidder of the bid process conducted by Chevron, having made the highest bid as well as paid the required initial deposit of the sum of $250million, which represents 15per cent of their renegotiated and revised offer of $1,050billion.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa had on February 10, 2014, adjourned the matter to March 10 to enable counsels to the suit to file their respective processes and addresses.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, counsel to Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN) noted in his opening speech that the 1st defendant, Chevron Nigeria Limited filed an application relating to the objection to jurisdiction, which was served in the open court on the plaintiff on the same day, the 10th of March, 2014.
In addition to other processes filed and served on the Plaintiffs on the 5th and 7th of March, 2014, Tarfa noted that these applications border on the issue of jurisdiction of court to entertain the suit as well as the competence of the suit.
He further drew the attention of the court to the fact that there is a pending application by the 5th defendant, SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company at the Court of Appeal filed before the last court proceedings and which counsel never brought to the attention of the court.
The learned counsel said the application was only served on the plaintiffs after the last adjournment in this case.
The appeal he stated challenges the ruling of the court on the interim injunction put in place to preserve the subject-matter of the suit.
Responding, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN), counsel to the 1st   and 3rd defendant, Mr. Uche Nwokedi (SAN) pointed out that if the plaintiff’s counsel needed more time to respond to the applications, he should urge the court to do the needful.
Counsel to the 5th defendant, SEPLAT, Mr. Damain Dodo (SAN) noted that the application which Tarfa referred to at the Court of Appeal has nothing to do with hearing the issue of jurisdiction but is an application on the plaintiff‘s motion for interlocutory injunction and should not interfere with the day’s proceedings, which is to hear the application on jurisdiction.

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