Lagos and London, 27 January 2017: Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (“Seplat” or together with its subsidiaries the “Group”), a leading Nigerian indigenous oil and gas company listed on both the Nigeria Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, announces that proceedings have been commenced in the English High Court against its wholly owned subsidiary Newton Energy Limited (“Newton”) by Crestar Natural Resources Limited (“Crestar”) relating to the deposit of US$20.5 million currently held in an escrow account (the “Escrow Monies”) (the “Claim”).
The Escrow Monies relate to the potential acquisition of an interest in OML 25 (the “asset”) by Crestar, which Newton has an option to invest into, and were put into escrow in July 2015 pursuant to an agreement reached with Crestar and the vendor on final terms of the potential transaction, further details of which were announced by Seplat on 9 July 2015.
The potential acquisition of an interest in OML 25 was initially identified in 2014 at which time the Group placed a sum of US$453million as a deposit towards the potential investment. However, after material delays, US$368 million was returned to the Group in July 2015. Certain events then led to renewed efforts by the consortium to secure the asset and to the Group providing the Escrow Monies. Furthermore, the Group has paid US$11 million to Crestar for past costs and a US$45 million deposit remains with the potential vendor of the asset.
The Group intends to defend the Claim vigorously. A further announcement, if appropriate, will be made in due course.
This announcement contains inside information and the person responsible for its release is Roger Brown, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director.