Africa Oil has announced that it has entered into an investment agreement with Stampede Natural Resources S.a.r.l. an entity owned by a fund advised by Africa-focused investment firm Helios Investment Partners LLP to sell, on a non-brokered private placement basis, 52,623,377 of its common shares at a price of CAD $2.31 for gross proceeds of CAD $121,560,000 (US $100 million).
Upon completing, Stampede would own approximately 12.37% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.
Babatunde Soyoye, founding Partner of Helios says, “This deal is a perfect example of Helios’ differentiated strategy. It is our fourth oil and gas platform company making us the most active private equity group in African oil and gas. It combines both our oil and gas industry expertise, and our deep African knowledge. Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and Helios is one of the largest foreign investors in the country.”
Helios has agreed that its participation will entitle Stampede to nominate one non-executive director to the board of Africa Oil as well as has granted certain rights to Stampede including the right to participate for its pro-rata share in future financings.
Net proceeds of the private placement will be used towards the Company’s ongoing appraisal and development work program in East Africa.
According to Africa Oil President and CEO Keith Hill the financing will strengthen the company’s balance sheet and allowing Africa Oil to continue with drilling operations and pre-development work in Kenya.
“We are very pleased to have been able to attract a large investor with the credentials and reputation of Helios into the Company which we consider as a strong endorsement of the Lokichar Basin project, despite the current oil price downturn. This relationship will not only be of short term benefit by strengthening our balance sheet and allowing us to continue with drilling operations and pre-development work, but also has the potential to provide a core investor as the development project progresses,” say Hill.
Andy Bartlett, Oil and Gas Partner at Helios commented, “Helios is delighted to invest in Africa Oil Corp, a company we consider to have one of the best management teams in the exploration and production sector. This is a flagship transaction for the firm to help develop Kenya’s nascent petroleum sector. The capital is being deployed to further this exciting project which we consider to be world class in terms of potential. It has all the right characteristics for the sector in a lower oil price environment.”
The common shares issued in the financing will be subject to resale restrictions under Canadian securities laws for a period of four months plus one day from the date of the closing of the financing.
The closing of the financing is subject to regulatory approval and certain other customary conditions. The Company expects the closing to occur on or around May 29, 2015.
Helios Investment Partners LLP is an Africa-focused investment firm managing funds totalling over $3 billion. Helios’ diverse LP base comprises a broad range of the world’s leading investors, including sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, funds of funds, family offices and development finance institutions across the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Established in 2004, led and managed by a predominantly African team and based in London, Lagos and Nairobi, Helios has completed investments in countries across the African continent, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, South Africa and Morocco. Helios’ portfolio companies operate in more than 35 countries in all regions of the continent. Helios bridges international capital and know-how to African talent and enterprise. The firm has a record of successful investment in businesses from start-ups to large corporate carve-outs, building African market leaders in core economic sectors and driving strong returns via portfolio operations.