Seplat Energy shareholders got $575m dividends in 10 years – CFO

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Shareholders of indigenous energy company, Seplat Energy, have received $575m as dividends since it was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange a decade ago.

The firm’s dividend increased by 20 per cent in 2023 to 12 cents per share, having paid special dividends in 2022 (five cents/share) and 2023 (three cents/share).

The Chief Financial Officer-Designate, Mrs Eleanor Adaralegbe, highlighted the importance that the company attached to paying dividends to shareholders during a recent media parley.

She declared, “Despite our aggressive capex investments and acquisitions, we continue to have adequate cash flow to pay our shareholders best-in-class dividend.

“With $575m paid as dividends since our IPO in 2014, we have successfully returned all the capital we raised at IPO. Dividends have been paid in nine out of the past 10 years.”

The listing of the firm The Nigerian Exchange and London Exchange on April 14, 2014, enabled shareholders to participate in the wealth creation activities of the company.

Seplat was founded in June 2009 through the partnership of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Platform Petroleum Joint Ventures Limited, to pursue upstream oil and gas opportunities in Nigeria, and divestment opportunities arising out of the incumbent Major IOC’s portfolios.

According to the Managing Director of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown, the ambition to be an ideal partner for multinational  IOCs, who were divesting from the country was still an overriding one.

Speaking with journalists as part of activities to mark its 10th anniversary of listing, Brown said that the company opened itself up to scrutiny in both the Nigerian capital market and the international market to make the firm look attractive to IOCs, who were divesting but interested in the long term value of their assets.

He added that Seplat considered dual listing to be able to meet both local and international accountability standards.

“The need to comply with industry recognised best practice and standards, whilst strictly adhering to international and local laws and regulations. There is also the need to maintain a strong cash position and good liquidity management; strong track record of debt management or ability to repay debts; and well-managed receivables and payables.”

On its commitment to the environment and people, the Seplat MD said the dual listing was, “Needed to strengthen our commitments to energy transition and reductions in emissions”.

“To have an established baseline for sustainability targets, and to ensure consistent and transparent reporting. To ensure responsible stewardship; drive positive social impact and contributions to local communities; and ensure strong partnerships with government and regulators,” he declared.

Following its establishment, Établissements Maurel et Prom acquired a 45 per cent shareholding in Seplat in December 2009 and was followed by other pre-IPO investors.

In July 2010, the company acquired a 45 per cent working interest in a portfolio of three onshore producing oil and gas leases: OMLs 4, 38 and 41, located in the prolific western delta basin of Edo and Delta States.

Initially, Seplat formed a JV partnership with NNPC, until NNPC transferred its 55 per cent interest to NPDC.

After its listing on the NGX and the LSE, Seplat Energy has broken some records, including being the first Nigerian company to acquire a UK-listed company, Eland Oil & Gas, a move which tied back to the ambition to be a major indigenous player in the energy sector.

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