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Heritage Oil to buy Nigeria assets in $850m deal

London-listed firm signs deal it says will diversify its portfolio and boost its production capacity

Reuters, Sunday 1 Jul 2012
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Heritage Oil has agreed to buy a stake in a string of Nigerian oilfield assets, known as OML 30, in a deal which Heritage said on Sunday would diversify its portfolio and significantly increase its production capabilities.

Heritage and its Nigerian partner, Shoreline Power, have agreed to buy a 45 per cent stake in OML 30 from oil majors Shell, Total and ENI.

They will also buy a further 45 per cent stake in other assets under the joint operating agreement for OML 30, which includes a segment of the Trans Forcados pipeline, for a total cash consideration of $850 million, net of costs.

"The acquisition of OML 30 is transformational for Heritage, providing a material change in production and reserves," Heritage chief executive Tony Buckingham said in a statement.

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer. Heritage said the OML 30 deal would increase its net production to around 11,350 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from 605 at present.

The acquisition will be financed by a $550 million secured bridge finance facility provided by Standard Bank of South Africa, and an underwritten rights issue raising proceeds of up to $370 million.

Heritage added that the acquisition would be structured as a reverse takeover, meaning that shares in Heritage Oil would be suspended from July 2.

Investment bank JP Morgan advised Heritage on the deal.

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