Royal Dutch Shell Plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), a public listed top energy stocks is pairing its operations in Africa, selling off assets amounting to $587 million to Assala Energy Holdings Ltd which is supported by The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), global asset manager and one of the best energy stocks. The deal is part of Shell’s $30 billion divestment initiative for 2016—2018.
According to the deal, Shell will surrender its gas and oil operations as well as associated infrastructure in Gabon Africa. Some of the assets to be offloaded include interests in four non-operated fields, five operated fields, an export terminal and a pipeline system. The company’s trading units will however retain the rights to take oil in the next five years.
Assala Energy, who is the buyer, will make a down payment of $587 million in addition to assuming a debt of $285 million. Assala Energy will also make additional payments of $150 million depending on how volatile the prices of oil as well as the rate of production in the oil fields. Additionally, Shell will also pay an impairment charge of $53 million after tax in the first quarter report. The deal is expected to be completed in the middle of this year subject to satisfying all closing conditions.
The deal is meant to take Shell’s divestment plan beyond the two-third mark. Last year, the oil company sold its assets worth $5 billion. The company has this year sold assets worth $15 billion including Gabon properties. The deal is a major boost in the company’s move to cut its debt accrued following the acquisition of BG Group at a total cost of $47 billion.
The company hopes to use the acquisition to cut on its costs, boost its cash flow as well as return capital. As part of the deal, Assala Energy, will take over around 430 employees from shell. The move is in line with Shell initiative to streamline and upgrade its portfolio as it seeks to concentrate on mainstream assets in the upstream footprint.
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