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Seplat Yet To Be Notified On Ministerial Revocation Of Approval For ExxonMobil

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Seplat Energy has said that it is yet to receive any official communication from the presidency on the news making the round that President Mohammadu Buhari, acting as the minister of petroleum has rescinded his approval for the acquisition of the local unit of ExxonMobil.

In a regulatory communication to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the energy firm said it is seeking clarification from the relevant authorities on the latest development on the acquisition deal.

On Wednesday, presidential spokesman, Shehu Garba said that the president had revoked his initial approval for Seplat to go ahead with its planned acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, the local unit of ExxonMobil.

Garba disclosed the latest position of the minister of petroleum on the deal, which was against the backdrop of the Upstream regulator’s objection to the presidential assent.

He said that the president has decided to support the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on the deal.

He said previous confusion was because “various agencies involved in (the) decision had not coordinated well among themselves.” 

After the announcement of the presidential approval of the acquisition deal, the NUPRC came out with a counterclaim on the approval, reaffirming its objection to the acquisition deal.

However, Seplat in the regulatory communication said it will continue to work with all parties to achieve a successful outcome for the proposed acquisition.

“Seplat Energy has become aware of a news report that Ministerial Approval of the Company’s proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”) has
been withdrawn.

“Seplat Energy has received no official notification of such a decision and is seeking clarification from the relevant authorities. We will continue to work with all parties to achieve a successful outcome to the proposed acquisition and will provide an update in due course.

“This announcement is made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange, 2015 (Issuer’s Rule),’” the company wrote in the communication to the regulator.

Seplat had in February announced its plans to acquire the entire shares of the local unit of ExxonMobil for $1.28 billion, but the deal has been dodged with controversy with the presidency withholding assent to it.

Seplat Energy had said it has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”) from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Delaware, United States.

The energy firm, however, said the completion of the Transaction is subject to Ministerial Consent and other required regulatory approvals.

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