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Merger and Acquisition

Twitter Approaches TikTok for a Possible Merger Deal

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TikTok, Twitter in Merger Talks

Following President Trump’s decision to end TikTok reign in the United States and protect the American people against an ‘unusual or extraordinary threat,’ Twitter has approached ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok to discuss possible merger or acquisition, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Saturday.

President Trump had signed an executive order on Thursday under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a law that allows the president to regulate international commerce in an unusual or extraordinary threat.

Part of the executive order read “The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok.”

Last week, Trump had given TikTok 45 days to sell off its US operations to an American company or face a complete exit from the world’s largest market. Also, American companies are warned to stop doing business with the Chinese video app and other Chinese owned social media companies like WeChat, saying it “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

The threat has led to American companies approaching the Chinese short video app for complete acquisition of North American operations.

Microsoft had announced last week that it was in talks with the company to acquire its US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations. On Thursday, Financial Times reported that Microsoft has expanded discussions to TikTok entire operations.

However, on Saturday the Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter is in preliminary discussions for a merger with TikTok. A move that would likely allow Twitter to manage the company’s North American operations in line with Trump’s demand.

Trump had accused Chinese owned companies of working with the Chinese government to access American key data and expose the world’s largest economy to security threats. An accusation the companies have denied over and over again.

While it is uncertain how Twitter plans to raise the money for the acquisition or merger, it would be a herculean task given the company’s present financial position when compared with Microsoft.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

Moody’s Acquires 100% Stake in GCR Ratings

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Global Credit Rating Company Limited (GCR) is pleased to announce that Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) has increased its stake in GCR to 100%, following a 51% acquisition in 2022.

GCR is a leading credit rating agency in Africa with a broad geographic footprint that includes South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and Mauritius.

GCR’s 28-year proven track record and successful domestic operations across the African continent, together with Moody’s international expertise represents a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of capital markets and the wider economies across Africa. GCR expects this acquisition will further solidify its position as a leading provider of quality, objective and independent credit opinions in African markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Marc Joffe, Chief Executive of GCR, said,

“The full acquisition of GCR by Moody’s is an important milestone that will enable us to build on our deep local market insights and over a quarter century of growth across the African continent. It will also provide the opportunity to further develop solutions that meet a range of customer needs, including credit ratings, credit risk solutions, and ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) capabilities”.

Following the acquisition, GCR will continue to use its own ratings methodologies, issue its own credit ratings and maintain a separate management team.

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Merger and Acquisition

Oando Secures 100% Stake in Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NUPRC Announces

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Oando PLC has completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC Ltd).

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) confirmed the completion of the deal on Wednesday.

NUPRC Chief Executive, Engineer Gbenga Komolafe, made the announcement at the ongoing Oil and Gas Energy Week in Abuja, a significant event sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and other industry stakeholders.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for Oando, a leading indigenous energy solutions provider, solidifying its position in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

“This acquisition is a testament to Oando’s commitment to expanding its footprint in the upstream sector,” said Komolafe. “The divestment agreement with ENI, which includes the full acquisition of NAOC Ltd, has been successfully finalized, and we look forward to the signing ceremony in the coming days.”

The NAOC deal is part of a broader wave of acquisitions and divestments within Nigeria’s oil industry, reflecting a dynamic shift in the sector.

Alongside Oando’s acquisition, other major transactions include Equinor’s completed deal with Project Odinmin and the ongoing due diligence for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited’s (SPDC) transaction with the Renaissance Consortium.

Seplat Energy Offshore Limited is also advancing its proposed takeover of ExxonMobil Nigeria’s offshore shallow water operations, pending ministerial consent.

Oando’s acquisition of NAOC significantly boosts its operational capacity, increasing its participating interests in key Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) from 20% to 40%.

This strategic move not only enhances Oando’s production capabilities but also positions the company to leverage new opportunities in Nigeria’s oil-rich regions.

The NUPRC has emphasized the importance of adhering to regulatory frameworks to ensure smooth transitions and protect national interests.

Komolafe highlighted that while divestments are the right of investors, they must be conducted within the rule of law and best practices to avoid the pitfalls experienced by other countries.

“Countries like Brazil, Canada, and the UK have faced challenges with divestments that were not well-managed,” Komolafe noted. “We aim to avoid similar issues by ensuring that divestments in Nigeria are carried out with thorough due diligence, safeguarding financial capacity, technical capability, and environmental responsibilities.”

Oando’s acquisition aligns with Nigeria’s broader energy strategy, which includes diversifying its energy portfolio and attracting foreign investment.

The country is also focusing on becoming a hub for green hydrogen production, leveraging its abundant solar radiation to support Europe’s energy needs.

As Oando takes the helm of NAOC, the company is expected to drive initiatives that enhance oil production and contribute to sustainable energy solutions.

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Merger and Acquisition

Exxon Mobil’s Sale to Seplat Progresses After NNPC Drops Legal Challenge

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has withdrawn its legal challenge against Exxon Mobil Corp.’s sale of its oil and gas assets to Seplat Energy Plc.

This decision eliminates a major obstacle that had stalled the completion of the $1.3 billion deal.

The NNPC submitted an application to the high court in Abuja to discontinue the case, as confirmed by its legal firm, Afe Babalola, in an email on Thursday.

This move follows an agreement reached last month between NNPC and Exxon Mobil to finalize the transaction under undisclosed terms.

However, court documents reviewed by Bloomberg reveal that NNPC retains the right to resume its legal challenge if the settlement terms are not honored.

The sale, initially signed in February 2022, still requires approvals from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), which has set an August deadline, and from Nigerian President Bola Tinubu.

The NNPC’s withdrawal significantly advances the deal but does not mark its final hurdle.

The addition of Exxon Mobil’s blocks will significantly enhance Seplat’s portfolio, almost quadrupling its output to over 130,000 barrels per day.

This acquisition is set to bolster Seplat’s status as one of the leading suppliers of domestic gas to Nigerian power plants, fortifying its influence in the region.

In a parallel development, Shell Plc’s divestment of its Nigerian onshore oil business to a consortium of local firms, valued at over $1.3 billion, also awaits regulatory approval after being announced in January.

Both deals highlight the ongoing restructuring and consolidation within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, aimed at increasing efficiency and local participation.

As Nigeria navigates these substantial industry shifts, the successful completion of the Exxon Mobil-Seplat deal will be a critical indicator of the nation’s ability to manage large-scale energy transactions.

It will also set a precedent for future agreements and regulatory processes in the country’s vital oil and gas sector.

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