Dec 22 (Reuters) – Oil producer Afren Plc said it had received a preliminary approach from Nigerian oil and gas explorer Seplat Petroleum Development Co Plc.
Seplat has until Jan. 19 to make a firm intention to make an offer, Afren said in a statement on Monday.
Shares in the company surged as much as 22 percent to 58 pence on Monday morning on the London Stock Exchange. Seplat's London-listed shares rose 10 percent to 112.43 pence.
Seplat, which lost out on the assets that Royal Dutch Shell divested in October, has been on the hunt for acquisitions in Nigeria, encouraged by falling oil prices, but said it would not pay over the odds.
Afren shares have fallen 72 percent this year until Friday, plagued in part by a scandal that saw the departure of several top executives including founder and CEO Osman Shahenshah.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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