Lekoil Limited, which recently farmed into OPL 310 offshore Nigeria, is the latest to engage in the fund raising with $50 million from the LSE’s AIM, the LSE’s international market for smaller growing companies.
Prior to this, three other Nigeria-focused companies in the oil and gas industry – Afren, Sac Oil and Eland – have approached the LSE for funds.
Lekoil, headed by Chief Executive Olalekan Akinyanmi, a native Nigerian who has spent much of his career working in the US, was admitted to the exchange last week, with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, presenting a commemorative plaque to the company to welcome it and mark its admission to the market.
The firm plans to use the funds from the LSE to become a pan-African oil and gas business. Besides Nigeria where it has a farm-in agreement with Afren that will see it ultimately acquire a 27-percent interest in the OPL 310 license, offshore Nigeria, its holds a 69.75-percent interest in Blocks 2514 A & B, offshore Namibia.
Speaking on the development, Head of Primary Markets for Africa, LSE Group, Mr. Ibukun Adebayo, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lekoil to AIM.
“This is the third Nigerian company in eight months to raise money and issue shares on our markets, highlighting London’s role as the leading international equity finance centre for the economic development of Nigeria.”
Akinyanmi, chief executive of Lekoil, said: “This is an important step for Lekoil on our journey towards becoming a leading E&P company with an aim of shaping the future of oil exploration and production in Africa.”
Lekoil was founded in 2010 by a group of leading professionals with extensive experience in the upstream international oil and gas business and in global fund management and investment banking industries.
Its strategy is to exploit the increased investment opportunities to secure prospective frontier acreage across the African continent and to supplement this with producing, or near term producing, assets in its home territory of Nigeria.
With Africa positioned to become a crucial source of the global oil and gas industry’s supply and a growing trend of government action to support domestic participation, Lekoil believes that its strategy, to acquire assets and working interests from both national and international oil companies, will create value for the shareholders and partners.