Gabon Formally Takes Over Carlyle’s Assets, Elbows Out M&P - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

Gabon Formally Takes Over Carlyle’s Assets, Elbows Out M&P

By Toyin Akinosho, in Lagos

The Government of Gabon, after exercising pre-emptive rights over the sale of all of Carlyle owned Assala Energy’s E&P assets in the country to Maurel et Prom (M&P), has finally signed a formal sales and purchase agreement with the latter.

So, it’s done.

The transaction was sealed February 15, 2024, between the state hydrocarbon firm,  Gabon Oil Company (GOC) and Assala Energy Investments Ltd. (Carlyle) regarding GOC’s acquisition of Assala Energy Holdings Ltd and all of its subsidiaries“.

M&P no longer has any line of sight to those assets again. They belong to the Gabonese government.

“This signing has occurred in the context of GOC’s sovereign right of pre-emption”, M&P says in a  statement released  February 16, 2024, “and supersedes the SPA signed by M&P and Carlyle on 15 August 2023”.

The Paris headquartered, Indonesian independent first informed the market of its move to take over Assala’s assets in June 2023, announcing it as a “possible offer for Assala Energy Holdings Ltd”.

M&P reported at the time: “Assala is an onshore oil upstream and midstream company in Gabon with working interest production of approximately 45,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD)  in 2022”. That volume of crude was extracted from some of six production licences that Assala had operated in Gabon since it entered the country in 2017.  The then proposed acquisition also included a non-operator interest in one production licence, as well as three onshore exploration licences also in Gabon, held since 2019.

M&P says it “confirms and reiterates its wish to remain a trusted partner of the Republic of Gabon, as evidenced by its presence and its projects in the country for nearly 20 years now”.

The company insists it is in a very healthy financial position, “with an expected net cash position at the end of March 2024 (approximately $270Million in cash and cash available, versus $266Million in gross debt), and significant borrowing capacity”.

The planned take over of over 40,000BOPD output in Gabon was meant to increase M&P’s stakes in Central Africa and boost the company’s Pan African Asset base. M&P holds 20% of Seplat Energy in West Africa (Nigeria) and in East Africa (Tanzania), it has recently acquired 20% of the 107Million standard cubic feet per day Mnazi Bay asset, through the purchase of some of the shares of Wentworth Resources, its partner in Mnazi Bay.


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