(Adds in banker comment, context on Afren)
By Laura Benitez
LONDON, July 31 (IFR) - Nigeria’s Seven Energy could bring its postponed debut bond back to the market next week “under better conditions”, according to a source close to the deal.
The seven-year non-call three deal, which was set to price and launch today, was pulled earlier this afternoon, with the company citing adverse market conditions.
This followed news that fellow Nigerian oil and gas company Afren had suspended two officials over allegations of unauthorised payments that sent that company’s bond prices tumbling and led Seven Energy to hold back from launching its offering.
Afren released a statement saying it had temporarily suspended two senior executives after evidence had been found of “the receipt of unauthorised payments potentially for the benefit of the CEO and COO.”
The statement added: “These payments were not made by the company. The investigation has not found any evidence that any other board members were involved. No conclusive findings have yet been reached and the investigation is ongoing.”
Seven Energy announced price guidance at 9.50% area for an up to US$500m bond deal on Wednesday, after releasing IPTs of mid-9s on Tuesday.
“We raised the US$500m, however it was just covered so therefore we decided not to go ahead. We didn’t want to push it too much with the market being so weak today,” the source said.
Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered are the lead managers on Seven Energy’s planned issue. (Reporting by Laura Benitez, editing by Sudip Roy and Helene Durand.)