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Jersey Enables Heritage's Nigerian Acquisition

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

05 September 2012


Channel Islands law firm, Mourant Ozannes has advised Heritage Oil Plc on the Jersey legal aspects of a complex reverse takeover involving the USD850m acquisition of a major interest in OML 30, a significant oil producing asset in Nigeria.

On June 29, 2012, Heritage Oil announced that a subsidiary and its local partner in Nigeria had reached an agreement to acquire a 45% participating interest in OML 30, together with a 45% interest in other assets under the joint operating agreement for OML 30, for a total cash consideration of USD850m.

The proposed acquisition was a reverse takeover under the UK Listing Rules. Heritage Oil announced a proposed rights issue to raise up to USD370m and that it was contemplating an equity placing and convertible bond issue in order to part finance the proposed acquisition. However, Heritage Oil subsequently agreed the sale of part of its interest in the Miran Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to Genel Energy plc and Heritage Oil and Genel also entered into an exchangeable loan, the combined proceeds of which were USD450m. As a result, Heritage Oil terminated the proposed rights issue on August 23, 2012.

Mourant Ozannes provided Jersey law advice to Heritage Oil on all aspects of the transaction. Senior associate, Jon Woolrich said: "The transaction has involved a number of twists and turns and it has been a fascinating deal on which to have acted. We look forward to hosting Heritage Oil's general meeting later this month at which the company's shareholders will be asked to approve the acquisition of the interest in OML 30."

Mourant Ozannes partner, James Hill commented: "We have acted for Heritage Oil since 2008 when it first established a Jersey holding company and its principal office on the island and we have seen it undertake a number of significant transactions since then. We are delighted to have been involved on this major transaction." McCarthy Tetrault LLP acted as Heritage Oil's English and Canadian counsel.

Heritage Oil is an independent oil and gas production and exploration company incorporated in Jersey and listed on the FTSE 250 Index of the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

TAGS: tax | investment | business | law | mergers and acquisitions (M&A) | international financial centres (IFC) | Jersey | oil and gas | offshore

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