Pertamina May Acquire Oil Firm Maurel et Prom

M&P investments offshore Namibia, orange (file image)

By Reuters 2016-08-01 21:25:11

Indonesian state energy firm Pertamina plans to buy a one quarter stake in France's Maurel et Prom from its boss and extend the offer to take over the rest of the Africa-focused oil company in a deal that could value it at close to $1 billion.

Pertamina said the acquisition of the 24.5 percent stake from Maurel et Prom (M&P) Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Francois Henin would fit well with plans to bolster its upstream business globally.

M&P, one of many independent oil exploration and production companies suffering from weak oil prices, has been looking for a partner for several years, but may have been able to fetch a much higher price had it agreed to a buyout earlier.

Back in 2013, Henin confirmed he had been in talks with potential buyers for the whole company.

On Monday, he told Reuters Pertamina had been among them, but that discussions had foundered on price. Three years ago the company was worth close to four times more than it is now.

Nevertheless, Henin said he was happy with the deal to sell the company which can trace its roots back to 1831 and the development of shipping lines and trading posts in West Africa.

"They (Pertamina) can achieve something that corresponds with my dreams for Maurel et Prom because they give the company a means for development," he said.

Henin holds his stake through a company called Pacifico, which is selling out for 4.20 euros a share, plus a potential 0.50 euro earnout linked to the price of crude oil next year. M&P's shares closed at 2.85 euros on Friday and were suspended from trading on Monday morning.

The full offer, to be made on the same terms as for Henin's stake, should come later this year, Henin said.

At that price it would value the whole company at up to 891.9 million euros ($996 mln) based on a total 189,764,042 shares in issue. Its market value was about 541 million euros at the close of business on Friday.

M&P refocused on oil and gas exploration at the end of the 20th century. Its production operations are in Gabon oil and Tanzanian gas. It also has exploration assets elsewhere including Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar, Canada, and Italy.