Heritage Oil founder sells to Qatari sheikh in £1bn deal

The former prime minister of Qatar is buying Heritage Oil in a deal that values the explorer founded by the former mercenary Tony Buckingham at nearly £1bn.

The bid sees the FTSE 250 company, whose fields are mainly in Nigeria, become the latest oil firm involved in a takeover, after a series of deals that has brought the sector’s desire for deals back to life.

Heritage’s independent directors yesterday recommended the 320p-a-share offer, with Mr Buckingham’s 34 per cent stake valued at £300m. He has agreed to remain as an adviser to the new owners and retain a 20 per cent stake for at least five years, and will not vote on the deal as a result. Heritage shares rose 23 per cent to 315.2p.

The offer by Al Mirqab Capital, a private investment vehicle of Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, of £924m, is the first major investment by one of Qatar’s richest men since he stood down as chief executive of the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Sheikh Hamad, widely known as HBJ, left his state role after Qatar’s emir Sheikh Hamad abdicated in favour of his son, Sheikh Tamim, last year. While he headed the fund, Qatar became one of the best-known investors in the world, with interests in companies ranging from Barclays to Harrods and the French football club Paris Saint-Germain.

Mr Buckingham founded Heritage Oil in 1992 after a stint as an adviser to the Angolan government’s oil ministry, holding gas and oil exploration interests in offshore Angola.

The business has been through several reincarnations and has most of its interests in Nigeria after an $850m (£550m) investment deal two years ago.

It also has interests in Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Malta, Libya and Pakistan, with several successes, although it has struggled in recent months.

The sector has seen a flurry of activity recently, with Temasek, the state investment arm of Singapore, paying $150m this month to become a major shareholder in Nigeria-based Seven Energy.

Premier Oil has also recently rejected two bid approaches by Ophir Energy, while the mining firm Glencore Xstrata agreed to buy Chad-based Caracal Energy for about £800m.

Al Stanton, an analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, said: “It’s a welcome shot in the arm in terms of valuations. There is a theme. Companies which are oil and are relatively simpler operations, that is, they’re onshore rather than offshore, they are appealing to people.”

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes