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Afren to Raise $200 m Via Placing; Sees No Dividend

Source: Reuters 11/10/2009, Location: Africa

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London-listed oil and gas company Afren Plc said it would raise about $200 million from a placing of shares to fund projects and that it did not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.

Shares of the Africa-focused company were down 7.8 percent at 82.75 pence at 0827 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which plans to move up to the London Stock Exchange's main market around Dec. 3, said it would accelerate development of its Ebok-Okwok complex, further infill drilling of its Cote d'Ivoire assets and the Okoro project in Nigeria.

The company was admitted to AIM, the junior market, in 2005 and has 16 assets across Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Jointe Development Zone.

Afren plans to use part of the proceeds from the placing for future acquisitions, short-term investments and general corporate purposes.

The company, which has made losses since its incorporation and not paid dividends, said it continued to make progress across its core business.

Afren said it was on track to begin production in the Ebok field in the first half of 2010 and targets to drill 10 wells, with over 600 net million barrels of oil equivalent by 2011.

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