JOHANNESBURG Feb 21 South Africa's state-owned
pension fund defended its investment in U.S. oil firm Camac
Energy Inc, saying on Friday it was justified in
agreeing to pay more than five times the then market value of
Camac's shares for a 30 percent stake.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages 1.4
trillion rand ($127 billion) of South African government
employee retirement funds, agreed in November to pay $270
million for shares issued by Camac equating to a 30 percent
Camac's total stock market value at the time was around $150
"PIC's entry valuation is at a discount of 30 percent to the
net asset valuation of Camac Energy," Elias Masilela, chief
executive officer of the PIC, said in a statement.
Camac shares have risen about 60 percent since the PIC
investment, valuing it at around $245 million - still well below
the pension fund's purchase price.
Houston-based Camac, which explores for oil and gas in
Nigeria, Kenya and Gambia, had warned days before the PIC threw
it a lifeline that it could go bust.
"While the company was low in working capital based on
recent company filings, the fundamentals were still sound and
typical of energy and production companies in this stage,"
Camac said earlier this month it planned a stock market
listing in Johannesburg.