Seplat to Complete Acquisition of Eland as Court Sanctions Scheme

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Goddy Egene

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc is now on the final stage of acquiring Eland Oil & Gas Plc following the sanctioning of the acquisition scheme by the Court yesterday.

The boards of the two companies had last October announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition by Seplat of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Eland.

The acquisition is to be implemented by means of a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 which requires the approval of the scheme shareholders and the sanction of the Court.

Other resolutions needing the approval of the shareholders had been passed and in notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Seplat said the scheme had been sanctioned by the Court.

“The scheme will become effective upon the Court Order being delivered to the Registrar of Companies, which is expected to take place on 17 December 2019,” the company said.

Seplat is paying about £382 million for the acquisition Eland, which is an independent oil and gas company focused on production, development and exploration in West Africa, particularly the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru, had said that they were pleased to have reached an agreement to acquire Eland and its portfolio of assets that will enhance our existing operations.

“Eland is an excellent fit with Seplat and the combination should achieve for us growth and increased profitability, creating value for our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders while offering an attractive upfront premium to Eland Shareholders. The acquisition, made possible by our robust operational platform and headroom in our capital structure, is in line with a key part of our established strategy which is to pursue opportunities in the onshore and offshore areas of Nigeria that offer near term production with cash flow and reserves potential,” he said.

Also, the CEO of Eland, George Maxwell had said the acquisition by Seplat represented the culmination of a very successful journey by Eland, the management team and all of its stakeholders.

“Since founding Eland, we have, jointly with our partners in Elcrest, acquired our interests in OML 40, a non-producing asset, achieved an all-time record production on this asset and become a significant independent producer in Nigeria’s E&P landscape and one of the biggest oil producers on London’s AIM market. Eland has, in a period which has seen a significant cyclical downturn in our industry, outperformed most of its peers and the AIM Oil & Gas Index. This transaction represents a record share price for Eland and crystallises Eland’s stated goal to maximise shareholder value.”