Seplat Concludes Acquisition of Eland, All-Share Index Sheds 0.13%

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Goddy Egene

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc yesterday announced the conclusion of the acquisition of Eland Oil & Gas Plc. The boards of Seplat and Eland had last October announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition by Seplat.

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.

While other resolutions needing the approval of the shareholders had been passed, the scheme was sanctioned by the Court last week and would become effective upon the Court Order being delivered to the Registrar of Companies.

However, in a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Seplat said the Court Order sanctioning the Scheme had been delivered. Accordingly, the scheme has now become effective and the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Eland is wholly owned by Seplat.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, Austin Avuru said:“We are delighted to successfully complete the acquisition of Eland, which further enhances Seplat’s footprint in Nigeria and provides opportunities for enhanced scale, diversification and growth. We welcome our new colleagues and Nigerian partners as we look forward to working together in this exciting phase of our development.”

Seplat paid about £382 million for the acquisition Eland. Avuru had said Eland was an excellent fit with Seplat and the combination should achieve for them growth and increased profitability, creating value for their 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.

Meanwhile, trading at the stock market was bearish as the NSE All-Share Index fell by 0.13 per cent to close at 26,660.44 after opening on positive note on Monday. Although there were more price gainers than losers, losses posted by Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, International Breweries Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc led to negative close.

However, activity level advanced as volume and value traded surged 94.6 per cent and 133.1 per cent to 331.9 million shares and N4.8 billion respectively.