By Nkiruka Nnorom
After the successful listing of shares of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2014, more companies in the downstream oil & gas Exploration and Production (E&P) sector have indicated interest to follow suit.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Osacr Onyema, who made the disclosure at NSE/LSEG dual listing conference in Lagos, said there has also been expression of interest from companies with less representation on the Exchange, especially the telcos and utility firms.
Seplat was the first indigenous Nigerian company to dual list its ordinary shares in London and Nigeria after an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that raised as much as $500 million, an equivalent of N82.5 billion, thereby valuing the company at $1.9 billion.
Onyema stated that many more companies are eager to replicate the success story, saying that announcements would have been to that effect if not for the commodity shocks expressed globally in the last couple of months.
“We have done a lot of works with a number of E&P companies and if it wasn’t commodity shocks we have witnessed in the last set of months, you probably would have seen a public announcement. Unfortunately, the way we work, we can’t announce anything until the deal is done. Yes there is a lot of interest; there is a strong pipeline and everybody wants to replicate the success of Seplat.
On the next wave of listing expected in the market, he said: “On a standalone basis, there is still great opportunity for companies and sectors that are not well represented in the market like the telecom companies, a number of utility companies and a lot of government companies that we are putting a lot of efforts into seeing that they are privatized. So, are the areas that we think that we could see more action in the mid-term.
“But from a dual listing perspective, there is clear path that everybody has seen from the success story that Seplat has had and we believe that that is where we would see a lot of action that will then encourage a lot of issuers to follow suit.”
Speaking, Mr. Nikhil Rathi, CEO/Director, International Development, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Plc, explained that a total of 130 African companies are already listed on the LSE, saying that energy groups are in the minority, while the biggest representation are from companies in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.