DLA Piper and Fasken advise on $1.65bn Nigerian energy deal

DLA Piper and Fasken Martineau have advised Nigerian oil company Oando Energy Resources on its $1.65bn (£980m) acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian upstream oil and gas business.

The pair worked alongside Nigerian firm Olajide & Oyewole on the deal, instructed by Oando chief legal officer Ngozi Okonkwo. ConocoPhillips is understood to have managed the transaction in-house.

The deal is one of the largest transactions in sub-Saharan Africa this year, and is among a growing number of deals where a foreign-owned company sells a subsidiary to an indigenous business. 

It substantially increases Oando’s oil production capacity, to around 50,000 barrels of oil a day, according to media reports.

Canadian-headquartered Fasken fielded a team led by London-based partner Abayomi Akinjide alongside fellow London partners Al Gourley, Jodi Katz, Richard Cliff, Stuart Hills and Andrew Thomas, Toronto-based partners John Elias, Mitch Thaw, Krisztián Tóth and William Bies and Calgary partner Brian Mainwaring.

DLA Piper’s team was led by international finance and projects head Charles Morrison, with partner Dimitri Papaefstratiou advising on all aspects of the deal’s financing which included reserve-based lending.

Akinjide said the deal was unique “in that although there was equity involved, it relied substantially upon traditional forms of bank financing, using a mixture of local and international capital”. 

The transaction has been in the pipeline for some time, having been originally announced in December 2012. It involved the acquisition of both onshore and offshore business from ConocoPhillips.

News of the deal comes as Fasken Martineau’s South African base seals an alliance with Simmons & Simmons (1 August 2014).

For more on Nigeria’s energy sector, read our 2013 special report, Power block.