Global law firm White & Case LLP advised The Standard Bank of South Africa on a US$ 765 million bridge financing and guarantee facility for Shoreline Natural Resources Limited ("SNR"), for its acquisition of a 45 per cent interest in OML 30, a major onshore oil producing block in Nigeria together with a 45% interest in other assets under the joint operating agreement for OML 30, which includes a segment of the Trans Forcados pipeline. SNR is a joint venture between the UK-listed Heritage Oil Plc, and its Nigerian partner Shoreline Power Company Limited.
SNR is purchasing the interest in OML 30 from the Nigerian units of Shell, Total and ENI, for a total consideration of US$ 850 million which will be funded by a US$ 550 million bridge loan from Standard Bank, and portions of a US$ 370 million rights issue for Heritage Oil Plc, coordinated jointly by JP Morgan and Standard Bank. It is envisaged that following completion of the acquisition, Shoreline will refinance the Standard Bank bridge facility by implementing a long-term lending facility, again arranged by Standard Bank, in respect of, and secured by, its interest in OML 30.
While the majority 55 per cent interest in OML 30 is currently owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the acquisition of the remaining 45 per cent interest in OML 30 is expected to be transformational for Heritage and result in a material change in its production profile and reserves.
"This was one of the largest ever oil asset acquisitions in Nigeria and fits in with the Nigerian Government initiative to boost local participation in the oil and gas industry" said Jason Kerr, the White & Case partner who led the deal and it is widely expected that there will be more opportunities for joint venture acquisitions in the Niger Delta in the years to come.
White & Case's involvement in this transaction bears testimony to its market-leading expertise and experience of financings in the oil and gas sector. In addition to Jason Kerr, the White & Case team included associates Jitesh Patel, Mukund Dhar, Clare Kimber, Fern Han and trainee Nic Kennedy.
White & Case has been actively advising clients on the African continent for more than 30 years, and acts on behalf of both African and international clients on the African continent on infrastructure projects and large scale financings, banking and international capital markets transactions, privatizations, public-private partnership arrangements as well as providing legislative and regulatory advice for a range of transactions across several sectors including across the oil and gas, metals and mining, power, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors.
White & Case is ranked top tier for project financings in Africa by leading legal directories such as Chambers Global.
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