Willbros Divests Nigerian Ops

Willbros Group, Inc. said late Wednesday that it has completed the sale of its Nigerian operations through an offshore share purchase agreement for a total consideration of US$155.25 million.

Under the terms of the share purchase agreement with Ascot Offshore Nigeria Limited, a Nigerian energy services company, Willbros has received US$150 million in cash and a note for the balance of the purchase price for the shares of WG Nigeria Holdings Limited, the Cayman Islands holding company that owns the operating and equipment companies supporting activities in Nigeria.

The final net proceeds to Willbros are subject to post-closing working capital and other adjustments. Due to the many variables affecting the Company's contracts and commercial negotiations in Nigeria, the final adjustments may not be determined for several months, and those adjustments may be substantial, but are not expected to result in the recognition of a loss on this sale. In conjunction with this transaction, Willbros bought out certain minority interests at a total cost of US$10.5 million.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition of the Nigerian operations, Willbros and Ascot have entered into a transition services agreement. While Ascot's parent company is an experienced operator in the Nigerian energy sector, the transition services agreement will enable Willbros to work with Ascot to help them continue to provide the high level of service to customers in West Africa that Willbros has provided throughout its 44-year history in that market. Ascot and Willbros have also executed an intellectual property license agreement that will allow Ascot to use the Willbros brand and trademark in Nigeria for a specified period of time.

Randy Harl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Willbros, commented, "We are pleased to complete the sale of our Nigerian operations to a well-known and experienced company with knowledge of the Nigerian energy and construction markets. We are moving forward with the execution of our previously stated strategy which will position Willbros to participate in the most attractive markets for our services wherever they exist in the world. The proceeds derived from this sale will be deployed to projects and opportunities that offer Willbros strategic advantage and the best risk- adjusted returns."

J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc. acted as financial advisor to Willbros in this transaction.

Willbros Group, Inc. is an independent contractor serving the oil, gas and power industries, providing engineering and construction services to industry and government entities worldwide.

Company: Willbros Group more info
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Company: Ascot Offshore Nigeria Limited more info
 - Willbros Divests Nigerian Ops (Feb 08)