MARCH 21, 2018 – Nigerian energy conglomerate Sahara Group Ltd. said it revived plans for a share-sale as it looks to increase oil production four-fold to 100,000 barrels per day.
Lagos-based Sahara mulled an initial public offering in the Nigerian commercial capital and London in 2015, before falling crude prices forced it to backtrack.
“The IPO is now back on the table,” Tonye Cole, Sahara’s executive director and co-founder, said in an interview in Kigali, Rwanda. “After we made the announcement then, the entire market crashed, oil prices went down, and so we put the plans on hold.”
Cole didn’t provide a timeframe or say how much he wanted to raise. In 2015, he said he would look to sell as much as 25 percent of Sahara for $600 million.
Sahara and other Nigerian firms such as Aiteo Eastern E&P Ltd., Seplat Petroleum Development Co. and Shoreline Group pump about 20 percent of the country’s total daily production of 2 million barrels. They’ve taken advantage of so-called indigenization laws that are meant to boost domestic private companies’ presence in the sector by buying assets from the likes of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Eni SpA.
Sahara wants to buy more oil fields to reach its 100,000-target within four years, he said.
“The option of buying more gas and oil blocs is looking brighter now, more assets have starting coming on the market,” Cole said.