Continental Focus, International Reach

Panoro Buys OMV Tunisia Upstream

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Panoro Energy’s Norwegian subsidiary Panoro Tunisia Production has reached an agreement with OMV to acquire 100% of the shares of OMV Tunisia Upstream for a cash consideration of $65 million based on an effective date of 1 January 2018. The Target holds a 49% interest in five oil producing concessions in Tunisia with net 2P reserves of 8.1 million barrels, and net production of approximately 2,000 bpd from 14 wells.


OMV also owns 50% of Thyna Petroleum Services (TPS), which serves as the operating company for the five oil producing concessions. The agreement entails signing of an agreed form share sale and purchase agreement, in accordance with Austrian notarial processes, following announcement of completion of a Private Placement.


The five oil producing concessions, Guebiba/El Hajib, Rhemoura, El Ain, Cercina, and Cercina South, are located onshore and shallow water offshore near to the city of Sfax, and adjacent to Panoro’s operated Sfax Offshore Exploration Permit (‘SOEP’) recently acquired from DNO. Through this transformational acquisition, Panoro adds high quality oil producing assets with existing infrastructure, well managed operations and substantial upside potential.

In addition, this acquisition further establishes Tunisia as a new core area for Panoro and is an important step towards the company becoming a material, full-cycle African focused E&P independent.

The remaining interest in the concessions and TPS is held by ETAP, the Tunisian national oil company. The concessions are currently jointly-managed and jointly-operated by ETAP and the Target through TPS, a long standing and respected joint-venture operating company (the ‘JV’). TPS is located in the city of Sfax and has approximately 130 employees. Panoro will have the right to appoint the Deputy General Manager as well as the Development Manager in TPS. The future strategy and work program at TPS will be jointly managed by Panoro and ETAP and the JV has already identified several opportunities to enhance production and increase reserves from the Concessions.

Due to the location adjacent to the SOEP permit and its extensive available infrastructure, the concessions create a unique opportunity for Panoro to unlock the development and exploration potential in the SOEP permit through tie-in to the existing TPS infrastructure and pipeline system. The combination of the Concessions and SOEP provides material synergies and visible development growth for the aligned benefit of Panoro, ETAP and Tunisia. As announced on 31 October 2018, Panoro is planning to drill the Salloum West-1 well in the SOEP permit in H1 2019. This well is subject to the entry into a second renewal period of the SOEP permit for a period of 3 years. Advanced discussions for the renewal are ongoing with Tunisian Authorities.

The purchase price to be paid to OMV is $65 million, with an effective date of January 1, 2018. Panoro estimates that upon completion, projected to take place on or about 15 December 2018, there will be a working capital adjustment of the Price by approx. $15 million in favor of Panoro representing the strong cash flow generation from the effective date to the completion date. The net consideration will be financed through a combination of debt and equity financing, and the introduction of a strategic co-investor across Panoro’s Tunisian business.

Mercuria Energy is providing an acquisition loan facility of $27 million to the Buyer. The loan will amortize over a period of five years and carries an annual interest rate of LIBOR plus 6% per annum. In addition, Panoro has secured from Mercuria an additional junior loan facility for a further $8 million, which the Buyer might decide to drawdown at a later stage. The junior loan facility is being made available against the issuance of $320,000 worth of Panoro shares issued in conjunction with, and in addition to the shares issued in, the Private Placement. Mercuria will also provide crude oil marketing and oil hedging services to the buyer, as part of this transaction. Panoro and Mercuria have signed binding commitment letter for this debt financing subject to documentation and certain customary conditions precedent being fulfilled.


The Acquisition is being made by Panoro together with a subsidiary of Beender Petroleum, a privately held oil and gas company focused on proven oil fields with upside, which is part of the Beender group of companies, founded and fully controlled by Tunisian energy investor, Slim Bouricha.


Panoro and Beender have entered into a strategic agreement whereby they will jointly pursue all Tunisian growth opportunities on a 60/40 basis through a new holding company Sfax Petroleum Corporation, which is the holding company of the Buyer and the recently acquired Panoro Tunisia Exploration (previously DNO Tunisia). Under a share subscription agreement, Beender will subscribe in cash for shares in Sfax Petroleum, on the same terms as Panoro, giving it a 40% interest, and will fund its pro-rata share of the Buyer’s equity requirement at the completion of the Acquisition, estimated to be $11 million. Through its subscription for shares of Sfax Petroleum, Beender will acquire a pro rata share of all benefits and liabilities associated with all of Panoro’s Tunisian business. In conjunction with the share subscription agreement, Panoro and Beender have agreed a shareholder agreement which sets out the basis for the operation and governance of Sfax Petroleum.


The remaining equity financing required by the Buyer to conclude the Acquisition is approximately $17 million which includes additional working capital requirement at the Target. This will be provided by Panoro’s 60% contribution through Sfax Petroleum.


As separately announced today, Panoro is launching an equity private placement of $30 million to fund its share of the Acquisition, development capital principally for Gabon and Tunisia and general corporate purposes.