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WFW advises lenders on financing for Trident Energy’s entry into the Republic of Congo3 May 2024

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised a syndicate of lenders comprising ABSA Bank Limited, ING Bank N.V., The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, Trafigura PTE Ltd. and TOTSA TotalEnergies Trading SA on a reserves-backed term loan facility agreement granted to Trident Energy Production Ltd (“Trident Energy”) for the acquisition of oil and gas assets from Chevron and Total in the Republic of Congo (“Congo”).

The facility was granted for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Chevron Overseas (Congo) Limited from Chevron Congo Holdings Ltd (“Chevron”); the acquisition of a 53.5% interest in the Nkossa and Nsoko II licences from TotalEnergies EP Congo (“Total”); and the sale of 10% interest in the Moho licence from Trident Energy to Total. Subject to approval from the relevant authorities, the transaction is anticipated to be completed by the end of Q4 2024. Following completion of the transactions, Trident Energy will hold a 21.5% interest in the Moho licence, an 85% interest in each of the Nkossa and Nsoko II licences and a 15.75% interest in the Lianzi unit.

The Moho, Nkossa, Nsoko II and Lianzi fields are located offshore Congo with the Lianzi field straddling its border with Angola.

Trident Energy is an independent, international oil and gas Group focussed on unlocking the value of mid-life oil and gas assets. In addition to these acquisitions, it also has assets in Brazil and Equatorial Guinea. Trident Energy is supported by a line of equity from leading private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Quantum Energy Partners.

The WFW team advising the lenders was led by London Projects Partner Joe Levin, supported by Associates Oli Baines, Michelle Rance, Tom Harvey, Elizabeth Lee and Trainee Matt Buxton. London Corporate and M&A Group Head Chris Kilburn advised on the sale and purchase agreements with Senior Associate Shaun Young. Partner Nick Walker and Associate Hamish Ungless advised on environmental law; Partner Claire Miles on tax; Partner John Ahern on financial regulatory matters; and Partner Rob McBride and Associate Kristina Buckberry on hedging and intercreditor matters. Partner Heike Trischmann ran due diligence for the lenders, with Paris Partner Philippe Monfort and Associates Hugues Hounkpati and Vincent Cossavella advising on the OHADA law aspects of the transaction.

Trident Energy was advised on the facility and sale and purchase agreements by Bracewell (UK) LLP as international lead counsel.

Joe commented: “We’re delighted to have been able to assist on the financing for this landmark acquisition by Trident Energy. This was a highly complex deal that highlights WFW’s ability to provide top-tier legal advice on cross-border African oil & gas acquisition financings by drawing on the unrivalled expertise of our upstream sector specialist lawyers”.

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