Helios , a private Equity Fund has acquired a 49 per cent stake in Oando Gas and Power, while its nominee acquires another 2 per cent, thereby making the equity firm majority shareholder.
Bolaji Osunsanya, managing director of Oando Gas and Power, who disclosed this at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas conference holding in Abuja, said the fund has big partners that continuously invest in its fund and this encouraged his company to strike a deal with them.
“The acquisition cost Helios $115 million and this has automatically made it become the biggest investor in Oando Gas and Power. However nothing has changed on the management side”, Osunsanya said.
The benefits of this exercise, according to him is that the company still carries its legacy as Oando and it is now being complimented by deep pocketed fund. This development has thus created new growth areas for Oando Gas and Power, as all the constraints in the infrastructure space that the company suffered in past have been solved, as the Oando group has always looked at many other ventures.
Helios is already an investor with Oando Marketing, another subsidiary of Oando Group, so the two bodies were used to being co-partners before this new initiative.
According to the managing director Bolaji Osunsanya, the company is now looking at the projects it has put on hold because of paucity of fund because it has the backing of a deep pocketed fund.
“Today we are getting capital that fits with the mix of what we are supposed to be doing in the gas infrastructure space”.
He said Helios is focused on infrastructure and because of this, the company would be able to execute its projects as planned, adding that Helios has a very long term horizon.
Talking on what the company is doing to mitigate against supply shortages, he said: “The Company has suffered from gas supply security challenges, which are related to the challenges we have as nation with people blowing up of gas infrastructure pipelines.”
He said this has taken a toll on it supply and has aggravated the need for the company to look at alternative sources. He promised to work with other third parties to see if the company can sign willing buyer and willing seller gas supply contracts.
Meanwhile, banking on its new partnership and reach with international investors, the company hopes to pursue an appropriate financing strategy that will help it raise about $1 billion dollars for its various pending gas infrastructure projects that will help to mitigate the security of gas supply.
“We are looking at other
alternative ways of brining gas, apart from the pipeline, such as building a mini-LNG project, Floating Storage Regassification Unit (FSRU) project which would help the company create alternative sources of bringing gas to Lagos and its environs”, Osunsanya said.
Commenting on the company’s virtual gas pipeline, he said the company has just completed the building of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) facility at Ilasa-maja in Lagos.
“The plant is fully operational and as at today, all the capacities have been sold and it is working hard to ensure the logistics to truck the gas to consumers, it is dispatching well in excess of 16 trucks from the plant from the facilities everyday”, Osunsanya said.
Oando Gas and Power is the foremost developer of gas infrastructure in the country and it has constructed over 260 kilometres of gas pipeline over the last 15 years and no other company comes close to that and plan to do more.