Oando, a leading Nigerian oil and gas firm, has sold 49 percent of the voting rights in its midstream business subsidiary, Oando Gas and Power (OGP), to Helios Investment Partners, a London-based private equity firm.
According to a statement released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday, the transaction is worth $115.8 million but is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and customary purchase price adjustments. Upon completion of the deal, Oando will retain 49 percent of the voting rights in OGP while the remaining 2 percent will be held by a local entity.
“This strategic alliance will firmly leverage our local knowledge and expertise alongside Helios’ strong financial capabilities,” said Wale Tinubu, Oando’s Group CEO. “Through the optimization of our existing business operations and the expansion of our footprint, we will revolutionise the sector and position gas as a key driver for Nigeria’s economic empowerment. We look forward to completing the transaction, which will create a formidable leader of gas and power solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Oando Gas and Power is a leading natural gas and power company in Nigeria, with over 260km in gas pipeline infrastructure. The company delivers about 70 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to over 175 industrial and commercial customers via several subsidiaries including: Gaslink Nigeria Limited, Central Horizon Gas Company, Gas Network Services, and Alausa Power Limited.
In May this year, Oando Gas and Power commenced the development of a mini Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Ajaokuta, Kogi State to supply customers mainly in Northern Nigeria.
“This transaction is consistent with Helios’ strategy of investing in businesses that provide cost effective and reliable energy access solutions,” said Tope Lawani, the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners. “We look forward to supporting OGP’s continued growth and working with all stakeholders to improve the reliability of gas supply to the company’s numerous industrial customers, who all play a critical role in the growth of the economy.’’
Oando has been struggling under a massive debt profile, resulting mainly from its $1.65 billion acquisition of the Nigerian operations of ConocoPhillips, an American oil giant, in 2014. Last month, the company reported a half-year loss of N27 billion (compared with a loss of N35 billion recorded in a similar period of last year) due to the impact of the devaluation of the naira on its foreign currency debts worth about $261 million.
In order to ease its liquidity challenges amidst soaring losses and rising debts, Oando struck a deal in June this year with 10 Nigerian banks to restructure the company’s loans worth up to N94.6 billion. The company also raised $210 million from Helios Investment Partners and Vitriol Group in July this year to recapitalize Oando Downstream, the company’s loss-making downstream operations.
Source: Financial Nigeria