Gasol’s acquisition of Block CI-27 interest falls through
Gasol has informed that its acquisition of interest in a block offshore Côte d’Ivoire will not proceed, as the partners in the field have exercised their pre-emption rights.
In a press release issued this morning, Gasol said, further to the conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) it entered into with GDF SUEZ E&P International S.A. (the “Seller”) to acquire a 12 per cent non-operating interest in Block CI-27 through the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Energie de Côte d’Ivoire S.A. (“Enerci”), it has been informed on 18 February 2014 that the Seller has received exercising notices in relation to the existing CI-27 Block partners’ pre-emption rights. The relevant condition in the SPA cannot therefore be satisfied and, accordingly, the acquisition will not proceed.
On 23 December 2013 Gasol announced it had entered into a conditional SPA with the Seller to acquire its interest in Block CI-27 in the Cote d’Ivoire. In support of the acquisition Gasol entered into a financing facility provided by Deutsche Bank (as announced on 10 January 2014). On signing the financing facility agreement and in accordance with the terms of the SPA, Gasol paid the Seller a deposit of US$2,000,000. Following the exercise of pre-emption by the existing partners the Seller will, in accordance with the terms of the SPA, return the deposit within five business days. In addition to the return of the deposit and in accordance with the SPA, the Seller is required to pay Gasol a break fee of US$2,000,000. Such fee is payable upon completion of the transfer to the pre-empting parties.
Alan Buxton, Gasol’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“We are obviously disappointed to have been pre-empted on this acquisition but nonetheless feel encouraged that in pursuit of our strategy to develop gas markets in West Africa we were able to identify, assess and bid successfully on what is clearly an attractive asset. We secured financing in a difficult market and ultimately the fact that all existing partners pre-empted demonstrated we had clearly identified a good transaction. We will continue to evaluate opportunities in West Africa, and the Cote d’Ivoire in particular, in an ongoing pursuit of our strategy.”