Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

Aminex deal with wealthy Omani Al Zubair family to enable it accelerate ambitious plans for acquisitions

Aminex assets in Africa will be well funded
Aminex assets in Africa will be well funded
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Irish oil and gas explorer Aminex will accelerate its plans to make acquisitions after inking a deal with the wealthy Omani Al-Zubair family, the Sunday Independent has learned.

The Al-Zubairs' vehicle Eclipse Investments is the cornerstone investor in a planned Aminex capital raising of up to £19.5m. The family is also behind the Zubair Corporation, a conglomerate which has carried out projects in areas including real estate, financial services and manufacturing.

The proceeds will "principally" be used to drill exploration wells at Aminex assets in Tanzania, Aminex told the market on Friday, without making specific reference to acquisition plans.

A spokesman for the Zubair Corporation said it believes Aminex "can be rapidly built into a much larger oil and gas entity" with the family's support.

Aminex recently began producing gas at its Kiliwani project on an island off the Tanzanian coast but has limited financial resources. It has gone through a period of restructuring that included a previous equity raise. Shareholders will vote on the capital raise at an egm next month.

Aminex chief executive Jay Bhattacherjee said: "With such a cornerstone investor together with the anticipated proceeds from the fundraising and the cash flow from Kiliwani production, Aminex will be well-placed to build on its drilling success in the Ruvuma Basin of Tanzania and to realise the potential from the exciting Ntorya-2 and Ntorya-3 wells."

The company previously expressed an interest in Egyptian assets owned by bust Petroceltic, now in the hands of the latter company's new owner Worldview Capital Management.

The Al-Zubairs will put £12.8m into the company as part of the deal, while a separate share placing will raise £4.1m. Existing shareholders have the chance to take part in an open offer to raise up to £2.6m.

The shares will be issued via Shore Capital and Davy Stockbrokers.

Sunday Indo Business

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