Orca Exploration Group (TSX-V:ORC) has recently announced that it has finalized the terms for a USD 130 million investment by Swala Oil & Gas Tanzania (DSE:SWALA) for the acquisition of up to 40% of the outstanding shares of Orca’s wholly owned subsidiary, PanAfrican Energy Tanzania (PAET).
PAET owns and operates the Orca Group’s natural gas exploration, development, and supply business in Tanzania and holds the rights to explore, develop, market, produce and sell natural gas from the Songo Songo Block in partnership with the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
It also has contracts to supply natural gas for power and industrial uses as well as compressed natural gas (CNG) for domestic use in Tanzania.
Swala’s CEO David Mestres Ridge said: “Our investment […] represents a number of firsts for Tanzania as part of Swala and Orca’s commitment to local participation in the Oil and Gas sector: it is the first deal of this magnitude between a foreign and a Tanzanian company; it is the first time that US dollar-linked bonds shall be listed on the DSE; and it is the first time that the Tanzanian pension and investment funds are invited to participate alongside international investors in these opportunities. This arrangement ultimately results in the benefits of more than 20% of Orca’s Tanzania business being indirectly owned by Tanzanian shareholders and bondholders, providing an alternative mechanism for local participation alongside traditional listings on the DSE, and the recirculation of funds into the Tanzanian economy means a lower demand on the country’s foreign currency reserves over the duration of the project […] and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that Songo Songo can be fully explored to continue to deliver the value to the country that it has delivered to date.”
Orca Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, W. David Lyons commented, “This is a transformational transaction for Orca. To the broader Orca Group, this investment is strategic in both underpinning the intrinsic value of our business and providing a platform from which to grow and diversify our company and deliver value to our shareholders. In respect of our investment in Tanzania, Orca has for some time sought the right partner for a minority stake, and we welcome Swala’s participation, and importantly Swala’s ability to attract and engage both recognized international institutional investors as well as Tanzanian investors to the business.”
Swala is a Tanzanian oil and gas exploration company established in 2011 to undergo exploration of hydrocarbon in Tanzania.
Although no oil has been discovered to date in Tanzania, SWALA’s focuses on the Rift System, an environment in which oil has already been discovered in Uganda and Kenya.