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Seplat Lauds Former Director for Contributing to Company’s Journey, Transformation

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc (SEPLAT) has commended Mr. Xavier Rolet, KBE, a former Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of its remunerations committee (REMCO) for his contributions to the energy company’s journey and transformational vision.

Dr. ABC Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT who lauded Rolet after he stepped down from the Board of Seplat Energy Plc effective Thursday November 11 on personal reasons said, ‘We would like to thank Mr. Rolet for his contributions and the wealth of experience he brought to the Board.”

Rolet joined SEPLAT board on October 1, 2020 as independent non-executive directors of the company.

In his decade at the helm of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), he grew its fortunes as the market valuation rose from £800 million to more than £15 billion.

“He showed great commitment and passion toward Seplat Energy’s journey and our transformational vision. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” Seplat Chairman added.

Seplat Energy’s focus is clear: “Reliable energy, limitless potential”. The leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the London Stock Exchange reported a nine month (Q3) 2021 revenue of N182.7billion, representing a rise of 18.7 percent year-on-year.

Seplat Energy Plc production has recovered strongly since the outage at Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) and it has been averaging nearly 33kbopd liquids throughout October.

Now that its production has normalised, SEPLAT expects production to be in the range 48-50 kboepd for the year, provided uptime on the Forcados Pipeline and FOT remains above the budgeted 80percent. Its new wells at Gbetiokun are performing strongly, and the company will soon commence drilling the exciting Sibiri prospect on OML40.

SEPLAT business model is robust, despite setbacks in the third quarter, thanks to the prudent and flexible approach the company has taken to managing the business.

With an increased focus on efficiency in its operations, improving uptime by opening up the Amukpe to Escravos Pipeline and driving further cost reduction across its portfolio, this will provide the bedrock allowing SEPLAT to operate effectively in fluctuating commodity prices and generate returns for shareholders.

It paid shareholders interim dividend of 2.5 cents ($0.025) as shown in its unaudited results for the nine months ended September 30, 2021.

SEPLAT reported an operating profit of N62.6billion, representing a rise by 299 percent year-on-year.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also rose to N105.7billion from N71.9billion recorded 9M 2020, depicting a growth of 29.6 percent.

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Merger and Acquisition

MainOne to be Acquired by America’s Equinix in a $320m Deal

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MainOne - Investors King

Nigerian and West African data centre and cable service provider, MainOne is close to being acquired by an American internet company in a deal that is touted to have a value of $320 million.

In a release by Equinix, the $320 million deal is expected to be sealed and signed in the first quarter of 2022, pending the satisfaction of conventional closing conditions, including the required regulatory approvals.

A Public Relations personnel from MainOne confirmed the deal, but stated that he had access to limited information. He was however convinced that the deal would be a total buyout.

MainOne was founded in 2010 by Funke Opeke, a Nigerian. The company has over 1,000 kilometres of reliable terrestrial fibre networks across the southern region of the country, while also owning and operating a subsea network from Nigeria to Portugal (in Europe).

The company also has digital infrastructure assets including three data centres (which are operational) across the western area of Africa. It also has another facility under construction, which is set for a launch in Q1 2022. These facilities have helped the company enable connectivity for Nigeria’s business community.

Equinix, on this background believes that MainOne is one of the most thrilling tech businesses to come out of Africa. Charles Meyers, the CEO and President of Equinix which has its headquarters in California, stated that the acquisition of MainOne would be the first step in the company’s strategy to become a leading African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company in the long term.

Meyers said that MainOne’s leading position in interconnection and its experienced management team are critical assets in Equinix’s bid to become the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure across Africa.

Meyers noted that the growth in data consumption in Africa is one of the fastest in the whole world, and MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships and operating capability will extend Equinix’s reach and boost opportunities for customers based in Africa and other parts of the world.

It was agreed in the deal that all members of the MainOne management team, including the CEO will continue in their respective roles. Equinix will also take on MainOne’s about 500 employees, but it is unclear what will happen to them under the new dispensation.

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Former Dangote Group Truck Driver Sues Company over Injuries Sustained in Accident

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Dangote Cement - Investors King

A truck driver who worked with Dangote Cement, Anas Ibrahim has filed a lawsuit against the company for abandoning him and sacking him after he had sustained serious injuries in an accident that occurred while he was on duty.

Ibrahim was involved in an accident on July 1, 2020 while travelling along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway when a vehicle ran into the Dangote truck he was driving after he offloaded bags of cement at the company’s depot.

Initially, he was taken to the Sango Otta General Hospital in Ogun state after he lost consciousness. After that, he was transferred to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta before he was finally taken to the Mohammed Sunusi Specialist Hospital, Kano where he currently is.

The accident victim stated that he had suffered three broken ribs and had a complex fracture in his limbs, according to FIJ.

Ibrahim, through his lawyer dragged Dangote Cement to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria based in Kano. The complainant told the court that the company had neglected him and also refused to pay his medical bills after they terminated his employment.

Ibrahim sought an order of the court, which would require Dangote to pay him N50 million as compensation, N10 million exemplary damages and N1 million in legal fees.

The Dangote Group Spokesperson, Anthony Chiejina said to the FIJ that he was unable to comment on Ibrahim’s situation because he was still in mourning of Sani Dangote, brother to Aliko Dangote and the Vice President of the company.

Chiejina then said it was unfair for the newspapers to report the sacking and neglect of the truck driver who sustained serious injuries in the line of duty at a time when the company was in mourning. He went ahead to claim that truck drivers working for the company cannot be trusted all the time, although he failed to react to the situation.

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Merger and Acquisition

Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition Now Highly Unlikely to Go Through

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Gartner semiconductor analyst Alan Priestly has said that Nvidia’s planned $40 billion acquisition of United Kingdom Chip Designer Arm is becoming more unlikely to be successful.

Priestly attributed this possible failure to the increasing number of regulatory inquiries which the deal is facing, also making mention of concerns in the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States of America and China. Priestly said this to CNBC on Wednesday, with both Nvidia and Arm failing to respond immediately to a request for comment by CNBC.

The deal had previously eyed a completion date of March 2022, but the CEO of Nvidia Jensen Huang had admitted in August that the deal may go beyond the anticipated date.

Arm was born out of an old computing company known as Acorn Computers back in 1990. The energy-efficient chips designed by the company are used in about 95% of smartphones around the world and 95% of chips designed in China. The company was bought by Japan-owned SoftBank in 2016 for about 24 billion pounds ($32 billion), authorizes its chip designs to over 500 companies who use these chips when making their own semiconductors.

Critics have concerns that the merger with Nvidia – who is responsible for designing its own chips – could hinder Arm’s semiconductor designs which have been dubbed neutral, and may then lead to increased prices, less available choices and reduced innovation across the industry. Nvidia however argues that the deal will result in more innovation and that Arm will benefit from an increase in investment.

American chip giant Broadcom has publicly shown support for the deal, but many others remain against it.

Qualcomm has stated that Nvidia could proceed to limit the supply of Arm’s technology to competitors, or even raise prices. Bloomberg reports that Google and Microsoft have raised similar concerns with regulators.

The United Kingdom announced back in November that it would be launching a full investigation into the takeover of Arm by Nvidia, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigating antitrust concerns and national security issues over the period of 24 weeks.

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