Nigeria's Seven Energy secures $255 mln from new backers

LONDON, April 15 Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:44am EDT

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Seven Energy said on Tuesday it had secured $255 million from new backers, including Singapore state investor Temasek, to help fund its plan to build up a gas business in the West African country.

Seven Energy, an indigenous Nigerian company, plans to buy gas fields and related infrastructure and pipelines to sell gas into Nigeria's domestic market for use in power generation and industrial consumption. It has already invested $1 billion in related projects in south-eastern Nigeria.

Temasek invested $150 million alongside contributions from the International Finance Corporation and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund in Seven's irredeemable convertible, coupon-less loan notes which the company says are akin to equity. Together, the new investors would hold 26 percent of the company's equity.

"These investments are a vote of confidence in Nigeria and in Seven Energy's vision to be the leading supplier of gas in the country," Seven Energy Chief Executive Phillip Ihenacho said in a statement.

The company, which is headquartered in Lagos and London, sees opportunities for provision of cheap gas in the local market as a past lack of investment means consumers tend to rely on much more expensive diesel and fuel oil. (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)