Helios and Vitol acquire African energy business for $276m

Helios and Vitol add to African energy holdings.

Pan-African GP Helios Investment Partners and Netherlands-based Vitol Group have teamed up to acquire a majority stake in Oando's Nigeria-based downstream energy business for $276 million.

As part of the deal, the pair purchased a 60 percent interest in the company's economic rights and 51 percent voting rights.

“This investment is a further reflection of our confidence in the Nigerian economy, and will be independent of the services we provide to our long standing Nigerian customers,” said Ian Taylor, president and CEO of Vitol, in a statement.

The club deal will give the investors control of a business with 400 service stations, including a supply and bulk distribution company in Ghana. Once the transaction is completed, the acquired business will be established as a standalone operation.

“This is a market leading downstream energy business with a strong brand and exciting growth potential,” said Tope Lawani, co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners, in a statement.

For Helios, the deal follows its $100 million investment in May in Africa Oil Corporation when it acquired a 12.4 percent stake in the company. The investment marked the firm's second and came out of its third fund, which closed on $1.1 billion earlier this year, exceeding its $1 billion target.

Helios and Vitol teamed up in February 2011 to form Vivo Energy through a $1 billion acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell's downstream oil businesses in Africa. As a result of the deal, the buyers established two joint ventures: one that is 50 percent owned by Royal Dutch and one that owns and operates existing oil production, distribution and retailing businesses in Africa.

The Oando transaction is subject to regulatory approval.