UPDATE 1-Nigeria's Caverton eyes fresh capital after $197 mln stock listing - CEO

Thu May 15, 2014 11:33am EDT

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS May 15 (Reuters) - Nigerian oil services firm Caverton plans to start the process of raising fresh equity by the fourth quarter after its $197 million stock market listing next Tuesday, the company's chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Olabode Makanjuola said he wanted to diversify the capital structure from debt, which is currently around 75 percent of its capital base, by broadening the ownership base of the company.

He said the Caverton debt was secured by contracts with multinational oil companies from where it generated cash flows.

"Most of our financing has been done via debt. In listing we want to diversify our pipeline of capital," Makanjuola said in a phone interview.

"We will be looking at or commencing the process of equity capital raise in Q4."

Caverton, which provides marine and aviation services to multinational oil companies including Shell, Total and Addax, plans to list 3.35 billion ordinary shares on the Nigerian bourse at 9.50 naira per share.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange Chief Executive Oscar Onyema told Reuters in April that he expected more oil and gas listings to follow the market debut in Lagos and London of Nigerian company Seplat via a $500 million initial public offering.

Nigerian IPOs dried up after a 2008 crash wiped more than 60 percent off the market's capitalisation. The index has since recovered, gaining 35 percent in 2012 and 47 percent in 2013, but new listings are still only trickling in.

Makanjuola said he wanted to double the size of Caverton's marine business to around 40 percent of the overall business over the next three to five years, adding that the aviation business accounted for 80 percent now.

Caverton, which was set up 16 years ago, operates 18 vessels and 22 helicopters and is diversifying into new markets within the West Africa region. (Editing by Bate Felix, David Evans and Susan Thomas)

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