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SacOil’s focus will be developing existing assets

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18 Sep 2013

SacOil’s focus will be developing existing assets, says CEO

OIL exploration company SacOil is undergoing a "rebirth", in which the company has set a two-year target to develop its oil assets in Africa, interim CE Roger Rees told Business Day on Tuesday.

SacOil is exploring oil fields in Nigeria, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on Tuesday the aspirant oil producer released its long-awaited results for the full year ended February, bringing to an end a seven-month delay, that subsequently resulted in the suspension of trade in its shares on both the JSE and London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Last week, the firm informed its shareholders it intended conducting an R800m recapitalisation programme that would ensure it was able to proceed with developing its operations. This will be the second time this year that the firm has attempted to restructure its debt with Gairloch, after a failed attempt resulted in the surprise resignation of former CEO Robin Vela and two nonexecutive directors. "SacOil will have a strong debt-free balance sheet with which to pursue the development of its existing assets, which is the primary focus," said Mr Rees.

Since the suspension of its shares, following the sudden resignations, the company has appointed a number of business and political heavyweights to its board.

On its boards sits former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, who serves as nonexecutive chairman. Jeff Maqetuka, a former ambassador to Algeria, is a nonexecutive director, as are Public Investment Corporation director Ignatius Sehoole and Vusi Pikoli, a former director of the National Prosecuting Authority, and Stephanus Muller.

They are joined by Tariro Mudzi-muirema and Mr Rees, former finance director at Murray & Roberts, as interim CE late in July.

"This is a rebirth of SacOil whereby the company will have a strong balance sheet and board, with a strong focus on corporate governance," Mr Rees said on Tuesday.

He said SacOil managed to reduce its losses to R70.1m from R104.1m the prior year. Cash generated during the year was R83.3m compared with only R7.1m‚ resulting in a year-end balance of R94m.

Source: BusinessDay