Nigerian independent, on the advice of PWC, is on an aggressive acquisition drive
South Atlantic Petroleum Company (SAPETRO) had, as at December 1st acquired about 13% of the shares of Afren. SAPETRO snapped up the shares as the price plummeted from 140 British pence in July 2014, but the Nigerian independent also lost money. SAPETRO bought the shares when the price was 100 pence. However, as of December 10, it was 38 pence. Now, the take-over move by Seplat Petroleum has buoyed the Afren share price again, jerking it up to 50 pence.
SAPETRO is on an acquisition mode. The company wants to grow its assets beyond its equity holding in the deepwater Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130. SAPETRO is redeveloping the Seme field offshore Benin Republic. It has a vast exploration tract in the Mozambique Channel, on which it has completed a 10,000 square kilometres of three dimensional (3D) seismic acquisition.
It also has acreage holding in Central Africa Republic. While the Seme is a marginal field, the Mozambique Channel and the CAR assets are rank exploratory tracts. SAPETRO has engaged the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to shop for assets and advise on value adding business strategy. The Afren investment is one of the several results of that engagement. Afren has been in deep trouble since the revelation in July by the company that illegal payments were made to some of its top staff. Five of the staff have since been fired and others involved sanctioned.