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Herbert Smith Freehills advises senior lenders on US$450m senior financing for the acquisition of an interest in OML 17 onshore Nigeria

19 January 2021 | London
Deals and cases

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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the senior lenders, including ABSA Bank Limited, African Export-Import Bank and  Standard Chartered Bank, on the US$450 million senior financing of the acquisition of an interest in OML 17, a Nigerian onshore  asset.

The transaction, which concludes an acquisition process that began in 2017, sees the acquisition by TNOG Oil & Gas Limited , a related company of Heirs Holdings Limited and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, of a 45 percent participating interest in OML 17, purchased from Shell, Total and Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

The senior financing involved the provision of a secured term loan and revolving credit facilities to TNOG Oil & Gas Limited. The borrowers and sponsors were advised by Standard Chartered Plc as global co-ordinator of the financing.  The financing of the transaction involved a multi-layered capital structure, which will set a benchmark for future EMEA financings.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ team was led by London-based finance partner William Breeze, who was assisted by senior associate Kerry Reid, associates Tom Papworth and Abraham Whitworth and trainee Joana Bourouphael. The team was supported by structured finance partner Nick May and senior associate Nick Rutter in London and Paris-based partner Rebecca Major, senior associate Jeremy Griffin and associate Nila Wilde. Nigerian legal advice was provided to the senior lenders by Banwo & Ighodalo, with a team led by managing partner Ken Etim.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner William Breeze said: “Completion of this deal is all the more impressive given the recent sustained pressure on oil prices, the international impact of Covid-19 and the complex capital structure of the acquisition itself. We are proud to have advised the senior lenders on what has been a long-running transaction and delighted to support an indigenous acquisition.”

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