Caverton Offshore Support Group (Caverton), a leading provider of marine, aviation and logistics services to local and international oil and gas companies in Nigeria, will make history come May 20, 2014 as the first offshore support company to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Having met all NSE and other regulatory requirements, Caverton Offshore Support Group has been given approval to list by introduction on the main board of the exchange. The company’s 3.35 billion shares will be listed for trading at N9.50 per share on 20 May 2014.
The move has been hailed as a major plus for the federal government policy of encouraging local capacity and ownership in the oil and gas sector.
Caverton Offshore Support Group (Caverton) is the holding company of Caverton Helicopters and Caverton Marine Limited, two Nigerian companies that have within a short period grown dramatically to become industry leaders in two highly technical and capital intensive areas previously dominated by foreign firms.
“We are extremely pleased as Caverton enters its next phase of growth as a listed company,” said Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola, chairman of the company.
“Leveraging on our expertise and execution capabilities, we plan to embark immediately on fleet expansion and the development of new service areas in the offshore marine and aviation sectors,” he said.
He added: “We are also keen on exploring entry into new markets,” he added. “We plan to create a balanced and diversified portfolio and we are pleased to have strong technical partners on board with us.
“This is in line with our strategy for sustainable growth and we are confident that the company will continue to achieve its growth aspirations while fostering indigenous participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Listing on the exchange is also a significant marker of Caverton’s wider ambitions, according to the chairman.
“The listing represents a major milestone for us in our steady march towards becoming the leading provider of oil and gas logistics services in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.
“Our past and present speak eloquently for us. But we are not content on resting on our oars. Rather, we are keen on further diversification operationally and geographically. Apart from operating in Cameroon, we have been invited to bid in Ghana and invited to come for discussion in DRC. We are keen on building a world-class company that outlives us and becomes a byword for cutting-edge services and the best of corporate governance not only in Nigeria but in Africa.”
Caveton’s rising business profile has been powered by strategic partnerships, highly skilled management and staff, investment in cutting-edge technology and facilities, and strong financial performance.
In the 2012 financial year, the company’s turnover rose 47.6% to N16.132 billion, from N10.928 billion in 2011. Profit after tax and exceptional items jumped to N1.035 billion from N60.373 million in the previous year, an increase of 1,625%.
Even though its operations predated the passage of the Local Content Act by many years, Caverton has been seen as the poster-child of indigenous capacity and ownership since 2010 when one of its subsidiaries, Caverton Helicopters, edged out long-established foreign operators to win a $648 million, multi-year contract from Shell Petroleum Development Company for the supply and operation of seven helicopters.
Won after a rigorous competitive bidding process, it is on record as the biggest contract ever awarded by the oil multi-national to an indigenous company.
The Shell contract opened the floodgate for Caverton, with more contracts pouring in from other oil majors such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total and Addax Petroleum. In 2013, the company commenced its first international operation after it won the contract to provide passenger transfer and pipeline surveillance services to the Cameroon Oil Transport Company (COTCO), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
Caverton’s operations have also been significantly buoyed by the opportunities provided by government’s local content policy. Signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on 22 April 2010, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development Act stipulates that oil and gas companies must give the right of first refusal to competent indigenous companies in their award of contracts.
On account of its massive investment in facilities and personnel, verified by the oil majors through audits conducted on the company and Caverton’s strict adherence to standards and safety, the company has been well positioned to benefit from this policy.
For example, Caverton’s turnover leapt from N7 billion in 2010 to about N17 billion in 2012, an increase of 142% within two years. Another indicator of the dramatic growth is that its staff strength rose from 160 personnel in 2009 to 650 in 2013, an increase of 306%. About 90% of the Caverton’s staff are Nigerians in pursuance of the company’s own commitment to the local content policy. Also, the company has a record of employing and training Nigerian sea-fearers, engineers and pilots, thereby deepening national capacity to operate effectively in the highly technical sector.