Nigerian oil and gas company Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, or Seplat, has confirmed it has been in talks with Afren over a possible merger agreement.
Afren plc, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company operating in Africa and the Middle East, following a sharp spike in share price on December 22, released a statement revealing the possible merger talks with Seplat.
In an announcement today, Seplat has confirmed it has made a highly preliminary approach regarding a possible combination with Afren.
In line with the statement by Afren made in December, Seplat has said that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made or as to the terms of any offer.
Seplat has also acknowledged that there is a deadline which says that by no later than 5.00 pm on January 19, 2015, Seplat must either announce a firm intention to make an offer or say that it does not intend to make an offer. This deadline is subject to an extension.
“Further details cannot be provided at this stage due to the highly preliminary status of events. Further announcements will be made as soon as the need arises,” Seplat has said.
According to a piece of information on the company’s website, Seplat is pursuing a Nigeria focused growth strategy and is looking to take part in future divestments by the international oil companies, farm-in opportunities and future licensing rounds. When it comes to Nigeria, Afren owns shares in seven petroleum blocks in the country.
As for Afren, the company last week announced it had reached settlement agreements with former CEO Osman Shahenshah and former COO Shahid Ullah which release them of claims relating to the unauthorized payments. According to the company, the two returned a $17.1 million received from the payments made to them that were not authorized by the Board. Afren terminated contracts with Shahenshah and Ullah in October last year.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, Image: Afren