Nigeria’s Seplat buys Aberdeen’s Eland Oil for £382m

Aberdeen-based Eland Oil & Gas said on Tuesday it agreed to be acquired by Nigeria’s Seplat Petroleum for about £382 million in cash.

Seplat will pay 166p per share in cash for West Africa-focused Eland — a premium of 28.5% to Monday’s closing price.

Shares in Eland climbed 27% to around 164p in early trading on Tuesday.

Eland CEO George Maxwell said: “This recommended offer from Seplat represents the culmination of a very successful journey by Eland, the management team and all of its stakeholders.

“Since founding Eland, we have, jointly with our partners in Elcrest, acquired our interests in OML 40, a non-producing asset, achieved an all-time record production on this asset and become a significant independent producer in Nigeria’s E&P landscape and one of the biggest oil producers on London’s AIM market. 

“Eland has, in a period which has seen a significant cyclical downturn in our industry, outperformed most of its peers and the AIM Oil & Gas Index.

“This transaction represents a record share price for Eland and crystallises Eland’s stated goal to maximise shareholder value.”

Seplat CEO Austin Avuru said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement to acquire Eland and its portfolio of assets that will enhance our existing operations.

“Eland is an excellent fit with Seplat and the combination should achieve for us growth and increased profitability, creating value for our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders while offering an attractive upfront premium to Eland shareholders.

“The acquisition, made possible by our robust operational platform and headroom in our capital structure, is in line with a key part of our established strategy which is to pursue opportunities in the onshore and offshore areas of Nigeria that offer near term production with cash flow and reserves potential. 

“The acquisition reinforces Seplat’s status as one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous, independent E&Ps and will create a Nigerian E&P champion with the footprint and technical capabilities to further grow and consolidate in Nigeria.”