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ExxonMobil Considers Sale of Nigerian Oil, Gas Fields for $3bn

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  • ExxonMobil Considers Sale of Nigerian Oil, Gas Fields for $3bn

Nearly two and a half years after exiting Nigeria’s downstream oil sector, ExxonMobil is weighing the sale of some oil and gas fields in the country.

The United States-based oil major recently held talks on the sale of a suite of oil and gas fields in Nigeria as the company focuses on new developments in US shale and Guyana, Reuters quoted industry and banking sources as saying.

The potential disposals are expected to include stakes in onshore and offshore fields and could raise up to $3bn, according to two sources.

“Exxon is actively divesting in Nigeria,” one source, who was briefed on the divestment plans, was quoted as saying.

The company is one of the largest oil and gas producers in Nigeria, with 106 operated platforms. Its oil output in the country reached 225,000 barrels per day in 2017, its website said.

Exxon officials were said to have held talks in recent weeks with several Nigerian companies to gauge their interest in the fields.

One source said Exxon was soon due to open a “data room” – which would provide technical information on the fields, such as seismic and production details – in Nigeria.

The discussions focused on a number of onshore fields Exxon shares in joint ventures with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, including Oil Mining Leases 66, 68, 70 and 104, according to one source.

Exxon’s share of oil production in those fields reached 120,000 bpd in 2017, the last year for which data was available.

Exxon is also weighing the possible sale of stakes in offshore fields in Nigeria, according to two sources.

When contacted for comment, the Manager, Media and Communications, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Mr Oge Udeagha, declined to comment on the matter.

“ExxonMobil is committed to its long-term business operations in Nigeria. As a matter of practice, we don’t comment on business discussions,” he told our correspondent in an emailed response to an enquiry.

In October 2016, the oil major divested its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Plc, an indigenous Nigerian downstream oil and gas company.

The Nigerian government has in the last decade supported a drive by domestic firms such as Oando Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Aiteo Group to expand their operations in the country as international companies including Royal Dutch Shell sought to lower their presence due to oil spills resulting from pipeline sabotage.

Exxon recently launched the sale of its stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oilfield, which would mark its retreat from the former Soviet state after 25 years.

Exxon announced earlier this year plans to boost its capital spending from $26bn in 2018 to $30bn in 2019 and up to $35bn next year as it seeks to develop oilfields in Guyana and the US Permian basin as well as gas projects in Mozambique and the US Gulf Coast.

In an analyst presentation last month, Exxon said it would accelerate its divestments to around $15bn by 2021.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Shoprite: New Investor Assures Nigerian Consumers of Improved Services

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Shoprite - Investors King

Following the acquisition deal between Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owner and operator of the Shoprite stores in Nigeria, and Ketron Investment Limited, the new investor has assured consumers of robust services in the years ahead.

Ketron, a Nigerian company owned by a group of institutional investors led by Persianas Investment Limited, recently acquired the supermarket brand.

The divestment by Shoprite International was in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model. This change in ownership has also received the approval of the Nigerian regulator the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Speaking on the acquisition, Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited, Tayo Amusan said, “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of Shoprite, ensuring the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria. We look forward to building an even stronger company following our acquisition and are excited about the greater impact we will achieve to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders now and well into the future.”

Since its launch in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite has expanded to 25 outlets across eleven states and Abuja, FCT.

According to the terms of the acquisition, Ketron acquired 100 per cent ownership of Shoprite in Nigeria and will continue operations across all existing outlets. It also plans to open additional stores and introduce more Nigerian-made products in the stores. This he noted, will also result in more opportunities for Nigerians.

“It is our vision to create fundamental change for the better within Nigeria,” said Amusan. “With benefits from our knowledge of the ever-evolving Nigerian retail marketplace, well-grounded social and economic research, and hands-on experience from our team, we are confident that this acquisition will foster a robust and sustainable business model for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders,” he concluded.

Professional services firms, KPMG Advisory Services, MBO Capital Management Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo advised Ketron on the deal. CEO, MBO Capital, Jide Ogundare, stated that the deal signalled an opportunity for Ketron to uphold a thriving business.

“It will be hard work,” he said, “but with the plans we have in place, and with the support of the larger Shoprite family in Nigeria including our staff and every Nigerian shopper that walks through our doors, we are confident of success.”

Shoprite Holdings is Africa’s largest food retailer, operating 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries and serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. At the moment, Shoprite Nigeria’s supply chain includes more than 300 leading Nigerian suppliers, and boasts small businesses and farmers among its partners and suppliers.

Ketron said Shoprite International will continue as technical advisers and Ketron will sustain the relationships established by Shoprite over the last decade and a half while ensuring a smooth “transfer of values.”

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CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency

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Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.

In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for  Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.

“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.

“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.

“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”

The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.

Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.

He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”

He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.

Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.

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Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.

The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.

Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.

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