…As Elumelu assures communities, others of shared prosperity, economic development
By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor
THE investment of over $1billion by Heirs Holdings in the acquisition of the strategic Oil Mining License, OML 17 from Shell, ENI and Total, has been described by various analysts as a very positive affirmation of confidence in the robustness of the Nigerian economy.
In a telephone interview with Energy Vanguard, weekend, President, Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, Maxi Colman Obasi, said: “At a time of increased pessimism globally and in Nigeria, the huge deal shows a welcome light on the opportunities that are available in Nigeria. Heirs Holdings is a committed indigenous business and the presence of Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, with over 300,000 shareholders in the transaction would impact on operations.”
He added: “The deal further demonstrates the ability of Tony Elumelu led Heirs Holdings to spearhead Africa’s economic resurgence, amidst the calamity posed by COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also speaking in another interview, Mr. Emeka Obidike, Executive Secretary, Lubricants Producers Association of Nigeria, LUPAN, said: “It is a very good development that comes in the spirit of local content. Specifically, the operations of the OML 17 would deepen and expand Local content, capacity building and technology transfer in Nigeria. It would also assist the nation to retain capital flight while creating additional jobs for Nigerians. I am optimistic that the new management would do well, considering its track records in other investments. In fact, many indigenous companies are doing well in the upstream sector, and Heirs Holding would not be an exception.”
READ ALSO: Lessons in Biden’s appointments of Nigerians
The deal, which was announced on Friday, saw Heirs Holdings, the leading African strategic investor, in partnership with affiliated company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), acquire a 45per cent participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 and related assets, through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI. The remaining 55 per cent stays with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp-oration, NNPC. In addition, the Heirs Holdings Group will take over operatorship of OML 17, demonstrating the strength and quality of the industry team assembled by Elumelu’s group.
However, the acquisition again evidences Heirs Holdings strategic intent in relation to the Nigerian energy sector – to ensure that Nigerian natural resource assets are deployed to Nigeria’s power network, driving broad-based economic growth. Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited. Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020.
Nevertheless, Elumelu, who spoke of his particular satisfaction and pride in closing the deal, as a Nigerian and Niger Delta indigene, stated: “As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.”
Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm Amundi.
The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner and the trading arm of Shell, as an offtaker. Heirs Holdings’ ability to bring together global and African investors, in one of the biggest African deals of the last 10 years, is a tribute to its professionalism and determination. It reassures global investors of the country’s untapped investment opportunities and affirms the company’s commitment to improving lives and transforming Africa.
The company has been at the forefront of Elumelu’s Africapitalism philosophy, championing the private sector’s leadership in developing Africa. TNOG Oil and Gas, HH’s latest investment and addition to a fast-growing and successful group of investee companies across energy, financial services, hospitality, real estate, and healthcare sectors, will create thousands of jobs for Nigerian youth across the country, expanding its current 30,000 employee database across its portfolio companies.
TNOG Oil and Gas will also extend Heirs Holdings’ “doing good, doing well” commitment to developing the communities of its operations through pillars of entrepreneurship, youth development and community building, pursuing an indigenous approach to catalysing development in host communities.