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Seplat CEO: Mobil Producing Nigeria acquisition will be approved this year

Seplat CEO: Mobil Producing Nigeria acquisition will be approved this year
February 29
20:52 2024

Roger Brown, chief executive officer (CEO), Seplat Energy Plc, says the company is confident the acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) assets will be approved in 2024.

Brown made this known in the company’s audited results for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, released on Thursday.

Seplat had announced an agreement to acquire ExxonMobil’s 40 percent stake in MPNU on February 25, 2022, with expectation that the transaction will be closed in the second half of 2022.

However, Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, which has a 60 percent share in MPNU, showed interest in acquiring ExxonMobil’s stake.

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NNPC exercised a right of pre-emption on the planned divestment and obtained a court injunction, which restrained the proposed sale.

In an update on the deal, Brown said finally “we have high confidence that we will conclude the transformational acquisition of MPNU this year”.

In another statement by the company in the financial report, Seplat said it remains highly confident that President Bola Tinubu’s administration will approve the acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s share capital of MPNU.

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On May 24, 2023, the company announced that it had extended the share sale and purchase agreement (SSPA) for the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s share capital of MPNU.

The extension, Seplat said, in the statement, was to preserve the transaction while certain legal actions were being resolved and necessary regulatory approvals were made.

“The Board remains confident that the transaction will be approved and all associated legal issues will be resolved,” the company said. 

“We continue to work with all parties to achieve a successful outcome, including our financiers, who remain supportive.

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“We have been encouraged by the continued efforts of the President Tinubu administration to drive positive change in Nigeria and a more supportive environment for businesses that want to invest and grow in the country.”

Seplat said it will provide more information on the deal as appropriate.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Company (NUPRC), on May 19, 2022, declined to approve the proposed acquisition due to “overriding national interest”.

Also, in August 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari reversed his authorisation for the acquisition — a few days after his initial approval.

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Commenting on the delay in the approval of divestments, Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum resources (oil), on October 4, 2023, said the federal government is handling the divestment of international oil companies (IOCs) on a case-by-case basis.

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