Seplat Energy’s attempt to acquire Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from ExxonMobil, has hit a roadblock after the Federal Government withheld approval for the deal.
In the last two months, the indigenous and international oil companies had been awaiting government approval, as the Federal Government tightened the exit door amid IOCs rushing out of the country.
The industry’s regulator, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), declined to consent to the acquisition which was first reported on February 25, 2022. The deal is meant to improve the revenue generation of Seplat, and allow ExxonMobil exit Nigeria’s oilfields.
Ripples Nigeria had previously reported that factors linked to the government withholding its approvals included NNPC’s possible interest in ExxonMobil’s share in MPNU and demand for decommissioning of the oilfield before sale.
In a statement on Thursday, Seplat confirmed that Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited received a letter from NUPRC declining their consent, but says the deal is still valid and in process.
“Seplat Energy confirms that it has received a letter from the Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (“NUPRC”) on the process. The Company has also been notified by the shareholders of MPNU confirming that MPNU received a letter from NUPRC declining their consent.
“Under the terms of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”), announced on 25 February 2022, which remains valid and subsisting, the Company will further its engagement with all relevant stakeholders.
“Seplat Energy is confident that the process to obtain all approvals on the acquisition of MPNU’s entire share capital is being followed and will be achieved.” The statement reads.
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