Newcomer Afren Launches London Listing; Shares Soar On News Of Sao Tome Deal

200,000 tons of methanol installationAfren, the most recent African explorer to record in London, acquired off to a roaring start on Monday, with its shares virtually tripling in the first day of trade.

Afren, whose shareholders embody Nigeria’s former presidential oil adviser Rilwanu Lukman, listed on London’s Various Investment Market (Aim). It placed 40 million shares at 20 pence every, elevating around £8 million ($15 million) earlier than expenses.

The shares have been trading at round fifty five pence later Monday, after the corporate revealed particulars of a likely deal with Nigerian-Norwegian enterprise Dangote-Energy Equity Sources (EER) that would give it a four.41% stake in Block 1 in the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone.

“We believe we have introduced together some of the experienced oil and fuel teams within Africa which, mixed with a wonderful first asset alternative, positions Afren to change into a leading pan-African oil and gasoline exploration and manufacturing company, mentioned government director Ethelbert Cooper in a statement.

Formed in 2004, the company is headed by appearing Chairman Guido Pas and executive director Egbert Imomoh, former deputy managing director of Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria.

Lukman, who’s a non-government director of Afren, resigned his put up as adviser to Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo in October 2003 amid rumors of a fallout. He held ministerial portfolios in previous Nigerian governments, dealing with both foreign affairs and petroleum, and also served as Opec secretary common from 1995 till 2000. The company’s administrators will hold a mixed 12.Eighty one% of Afren.

The corporate is looking for to exploit upstream alternatives within the Gulf of Guinea region via the leveraging of strategic relationships and native expertise. “Afren’s strategic objectives will ensure that the corporate will offer shareholders a diversified and balanced portfolio of engaging exploration, development and production asset alternatives, the company mentioned. Afren is thought seemingly to target marginal fields in Nigeria and can also bid in the country’s upcoming oil licensing round.

Beneath the terms of the Block 1 deal, Afren stated it will pay EER $6.5 million to assist finance the field’s growth. EER raised eyebrows last April when it was awarded a 9% stake in Block 1 after being set up particularly to bid for the block. The Block 1 consortium contains operator ChevronTexaco with 51% and Exxon Mobil with forty%.

EER is owned by Aliko Dangote, who controls an industrial and buying and selling conglomerate. Dangote is near Obasanjo, who has reportedly urged him to face as his successor in 2007.

Afren is also being supported by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., to which it has applied for seed capital. The IFC is contemplating an fairness investment in the type of extraordinary shares of up to $1 million equivalent. Afren has budgeted $5.7 million for establishment and operational costs for its first yr.

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