Carlyle-backed Assala Energy acquires Shell Gabon Assets
Investment Represents Carlyle’s Largest Transaction in Africa to Date
London, UK - Carlyle-backed Assala Energy today announced the acquisition of Shell’s onshore assets in Gabon, Africa, for $587 million. Assala Energy will also assume associated liabilities, including a loan of $285 million. Assala Energy is a portfolio company owned by global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (CG: NASDAQ). With headquarters in London and a leadership team led by Chief Executive Officer David Roux, Assala Energy was created by Carlyle as a new oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company to focus on energy opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s management team includes successful, Africa-experienced E&P professionals, many of whom have worked in Gabon previously. The transaction is expected to close in summer 2017.
Production from the assets in Gabon is approximately 60,000 bopd operated and 40,000 bopd net, the latter reflecting production volumes both from Shell’s own as well as third party-operated fields. Upon completion of the transaction, all Shell Gabon local employees will transfer to Assala Energy. The company’s initial focus will be to continue safe and responsible management of the assets acquired from Shell. Over time the company will also actively consider new growth and expansion opportunities and seek to play an important role in the future development of Gabon’s energy sector.
Capital for this investment will come from two Carlyle funds: (i) Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), a $2.5 billion fund that invests in global oil and gas exploration and production, mid- and downstream, oil field services and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia and; (ii) Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund (SSA) a $698 million fund that invests in buyout and growth opportunities across Africa.
Marcel van Poecke, Head of Carlyle International Energy Partners, said: “With a geographic focus in Sub-Saharan Africa, Assala Energy is committed to being a safe, responsible and efficient energy operator and to being an active contributor to the Gabon economy. Assala Energy will also explore opportunities to invest in future projects that create sustained long-term value for the local economy. Assala Energy plans to be a forward-looking partner, responsive to local market conditions. Our team of energy industry specialists at Carlyle has extensive experience in Gabon and we look forward to contributing to the sustainable economic future for the country’s energy industry.”
David Roux, CEO of Assala Energy, said: “Assala Energy will build on Shell’s 55-year legacy in Gabon by continuing to deliver responsible operations through best-in-class safety, environmental and social performance and transparent stakeholder partnerships. We are committed to ensuring long-term, sustainable growth and creating value. Assala Energy will invest responsibly to secure and increase production levels as well as oilfields’ life. We look forward to working with the Government of Gabon, the Gabon staff and our partners on this exciting opportunity.”
Eric Kump, Co-Head of Carlyle Sub-Sahara Africa Fund, added: “We are proud to be leading one of the largest foreign direct investments into Gabon and to sharing our experience of investing in Sub-Sahara Africa with David Roux and the Assala Energy team.”
In addition to the consideration, the transaction accommodates for a potential additional payment of a maximum of $150 million, subject to commodity price and production performance.
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About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager headquartered in Washington DC, USA, with $158 billion of assets under management across 281 investment vehicles as of December 31, 2016. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pension funds. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,600 people in 35 offices across six continents.
About Carlyle’s Energy Platform
Carlyle has constructed a broad-based natural resources investing platform (currently with over $12 billion in capital to deploy) offering innovative investment opportunities, including international energy investing in oil & gas exploration & production, mid- & downstream, refining & marketing and oil field services in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia (CIEP), U.S. energy investing (NGP Energy Capital Management), project finance (Energy Mezzanine), Power (working alongside portfolio company Cogentrix) and the firm’s proven buyout capabilities in transactions such as Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Kinder Morgan.
About Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP)
Established in May 2013, the CIEP team focuses on oil and gas exploration and production mid- & downstream, refining and marketing and oil field services in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. The CIEP team focuses on transactions where it has a distinctive competitive advantage and can create tangible value for companies in which it invests, through industry specialization, deployment of human capital and access to The Carlyle Group’s global network.
CIEP current investments include: (a) Varo Energy, a Swiss-based refining, storage and distribution business operating in Germany and Switzerland; (b) Discover Exploration, an oil and gas exploration company based in the UK that focuses on Africa, Latin America and Asia; (c) HES International, a European liquids, dry-bulk storage and handling business; (d) Black Sea Oil & Gas, a Romanian focused upstream oil and gas development company and (e) Mazarine, an upstream oil and gas company with existing assets in Tunisia.
The CIEP team consists of 14 investment professionals, all with extensive international oil and gas industry investment and operational expertise. In addition to Marcel van Poecke, the CIEP team includes Bob Maguire and Joost Dröge, both industry veterans with 55 years’ combined successful energy investing experience, as well as Paddy Spink, a Senior Advisor to CIEP, with 35 years’ upstream experience in Africa, Latin America & Europe.
About Carlyle Sub-Sahara Africa Fund (SSA)
Established in 2012 the Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund and its affiliates, with $698 million of committed capital, have invested over $300 million to date across a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, TMT, retail, logistics and mining services, and across a variety of geographies, including South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Southern Africa. The SSA fund makes buyout and growth capital investments in private and public companies from offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.
About Assala Energy
Assala Energy is an oil and gas, exploration and production company, privately backed by global alternative asset management company, The Carlyle Group. Assala Energy’s business model is to invest in mid-life and mature assets, improving operational efficiency and production levels, while responsibly extending field life cycles. The company’s geographical focus in in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Assala Energy is committed to contributing to the national and local economies of its host countries, while complying with its international obligations on transparency.