18 April 2014, Lagos – Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc was formally received at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Thursday April 17, 2014 in a ceremony that saw the chairman, Dr. ABC Orjiako ring the opening bell.
A similar ceremony held earlier in Lagos on Tuesday April 14, 2014 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Dignitaries in attendance at the LSE event included Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former vice president of Nigeria and his wife, Dr. Mrs Helen Ekwueme; Mr. Andrew Yakubu, GMD of the NNPC, Basi Omiyi, former MD of Shell, Ifueko Omogui-Okauru, Mr. Emmanuel Nweke, 2nd Secretary at the Nigerian High Commission who stood in for the Nigerian High Commissioner in London, Ms. Chinelo Anorom Acting DG of the National Pension Commission, Celine Loader of CBN and many others.
The event is coming on the heels of the dual listing of the company’s shares on the NSE and LSE following the company’s very successful and over-subscribed IPO.
Speaking at the LSE event, Dr. Orjiako expressed delight at the vote of confidence in SEPLAT by foreign regulators and investors. In his words he reiterated that “We are delighted with the support shown and happy to welcome a range of blue chip investors to our share register. Despite a challenging market for oil and gas stocks, the response has been excellent and demonstrates strong demand in both London and at home for a leading Nigerian indigenous E&P player with Nigerian investors making up 40% of the total.”
In his comments at the event, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu said the NNPC was anxious about granting operatorship to SEPLAT at inception but today “Seplat is the only oil company, not indigenous company, the only oil company producing above its technically allowed capacity.”
The Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, Xavier Rolet presented the Chairman and CEO with a commemorative plaque and limited edition bottle of champagne after the signing ceremony.
It will be recalled that SEPLAT announced its intention to float on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in which it said it was seeking to raise $500m and thereafter list, simultaneously, on the NSE and LSE.
On Wednesday April 9, 2014, the Company announced that its Offer Price had been set at NGN 576 per Ordinary Share for shares to be listed on the Official Trading List of the NSE (the “Offer Price”) and 210 pence per Ordinary Share for shares to be traded on the LSE’s main market.
The commencement of unconditional dealings on both the NSE and LSE took place on Monday 14 April 2014 following the full Admission of SEPLAT’s Ordinary Shares to the Official Trading List of the NSE, under the ticker symbol “SEPLAT” and to the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as to trading on the main market for listed securities of the LSE under the ticker symbol “SEPL”
SEPLAT was founded in 2009 by Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Platform Petroleum (Joint Ventures) Limited for the purpose of investing in Nigerian oil and gas opportunities. Maurel & Prom, a French independent oil company, subsequently acquired a 45 per cent equity interest in SEPLAT; this interest was later spun-off to form Maurel & Prom Nigeria S.A (now Maurel & Prom International).
In July 2010, SEPLAT acquired a 45 per cent participating interest in, and was appointed operator of, a portfolio of three onshore producing oil mining leases (OMLs 4, 38 and 41) located in the Niger Delta.
SEPLAT’s successful IPO and dual listing on the NSE and LSE clearly signposts a new era in the Nigerian E&P market and sets SEPLAT apart as a veritable national champion.