BY BONNIE MODIAKGOTLA
The country’s biggest pension fund, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), has upped its stake in the stock exchange listed Tlou Energy Limited, following a round of equity placement, the company announced last week.
The Botswana Stock Exchange’s listed company, Tlou Energy, notified capital markets that it successfully completed sales of shares to sophisticated investors, bringing in P21.8 million, after selling 29.1 million shares for 75 thebe per share, representing a 4 percent premium to the last share-trading price.
Following the admission of placement of new shares, Tlou will have 450.1 million issued shares on the BSE. The shares were disposed through private placement to existing shareholders, as well as a new Botswana based fund manager. Tlou did not disclose the name of the company.
“We welcome the confidence shown in the company by the fund managers who participated in this strategic placement. It has been one of the company’s stated goals to increase the local ownership of the company as we believe this will have long term benefits for both the local and international shareholders,” said Tony Gilby, Tlou’s managing director.
“It is very pleasing to welcome to our registry a new local fund manager, along with further investment by our largest shareholder, and I would like to thank them for their support”.
BPOPF, which already owned 19.2 million shares in Tlou Energy, increased its stake in the company after it acquired 96 percent of shares or 28 million of shares on offer, bringing its total holding to 47.2 million, which represents 10.49 percent shareholding in Tlou Energy.
In a statement to shareholders, the energy focused company said the proceeds of the shares sale, along with existing cash provides further working capital for ongoing activities including exploration and downstream development work, continued gas flow testing at the recently completed production wells and efforts to secure a power purchase agreement.
The latest private placement of shares came ten days after the company also successfully completed an equity placement to existing shareholders, placing 12 million shares at a price of 75 thebe, raising about P9 million. The participating shareholders entered into Voluntary Escrow Agreements with Tlou not to dispose of the placement shares held for a year.
The company which is focused on delivering gas-to-power- solutions in Botswana, with the company developing projects using coal bed methane (CNM) natural gas. Tlou wholly owns the most advanced gas project in the country, the Lesedi CBM project, which it has been using to entice investors as an answer to the region’s chronic power shortages.
The energy company has recently revealed that Botswana’s ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security has invited the company to the opening of the financial bids ÔÇô being the third and final section review of Tlou’s CBM gas-to-power tender submission. This follows the company’s October 2018 submission to the government’s Request For Proposal (RFP) for the development of a maximum of 100 MW of CBM fuelled power plants in Botswana.