Afren Creates Advisory Board for African Growth
Further to the announcement of 2nd November 2006 relating to the appointment of Dr Rilwanu Lukman as non-Executive Chairman, Afren plc ("Afren" or "the Company") announces further corporate changes designed to strengthen its pan African presence and position Afren for its next phase of growth in the upstream African Oil & Gas sector.
Establishment of an International Advisory Board
Following his appointment as Chairman of Afren, Dr Rilwanu Lukman has established an International Advisory Board to assist and advise the Board in its objectives to grow the Company into the leading pan African independent Exploration and Production company. The International Advisory Board is a consultative body with a strong orientation to Africa, the oil and gas industry and the international capital markets.
The founding members of the International Advisory Board are Brian Ward and Ennio Sganzerla, two senior oil industry practitioners with significant African experience.
Brian Ward was formerly the Regional Chief Executive for Shell E&P Africa. Mr Ward was responsible for Shell's Upstream African operations and relationships with Host Governments. Prior to managing Shell's operations in Africa, Mr Ward's career included a number of senior positions within the Shell organization, including Managing Director of Petroleum Development Oman, Managing Director of Shell E&P (NAM) in Holland, and Deputy Managing Director and Production Director for Shell Expro UK.
Ennio Sganzerla was until recently Senior Vice President (E&P) at ENI, having joined the group in 1971. Since 1997, he has been responsible for the North Sea, America, Australasia and Russia. Previously, he was Managing Director of ENI's sizeable North Sea operations. Over the course of his wide-ranging career at ENI, he was instrumental in establishing and building ENI's presence in Congo, and played an active role in increasing ENI's position in Nigeria, Gabon and Egypt as Regional VP for Africa. Mr Sganzerla was also active in leading the group's M&A activities, including the acquisition of Lasmo plc, British Borneo and others.
Appointment of John St. John as Strategic Financial Advisor to the Board
The Board of Afren Plc has also appointed John St. John as a Strategic Financial Advisor to the Board. John St. John is one of the best-known names in European Equity Capital Markets and was formerly Global Head of Equity Capital Markets at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers and Commerzbank. He has been advisor on over €100 billion of equity and equity-linked issuance in all major markets worldwide. He currently serves as Chairman of Equity Capital Markets at Nomura International plc.
Appointment of Constantine Ogunbiyi as Associate Director
Constantine Ogunbiyi has been appointed by Afren as Associate Director and Special Assistant to the Chairman. Mr Ogunbiyi, a Nigerian national, was involved in the establishment of Afren in late 2004 and serves as General Counsel of the Group and Director of Afren's wholly-owned Nigerian subsidiary, Afren Energy Resources Ltd. In his new role, he will work closely with the Chairman in a support capacity.
Prior to joining Afren, he was the Deputy Head of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's Africa Practice and a member of their Project Finance Department in London. Before this, Mr Ogunbiyi spent four and a half years with Herbert Smith in their International Finance and Banking Department.
Brian O'Cathain, Chief Executive, commented:
"We are pleased to announce Dr Lukman's move to further strengthen our industry and African expertise with the establishment of the International Advisory Board, whose first two members have exceptional experience and expertise in developing oil and gas businesses in Africa. John St. John brings an invaluable strategic perspective on the capital markets. Constantine Ogunbiyi will work closely with the Chairman in particular on regulatory and compliance issues. Together, these appointments significantly strengthen the Company's ability to access African E&P opportunities and financial resources, as it proceeds to the next stage of growth in a consolidating sector."
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