WASHINGTON, January 7 /PRNewswire/ --

- Investment in Ocean & Oil is ECP's Fifth in African Oil and Gas Sector

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), an international private equity firm focused on investing across the African continent, today announced a US $35 million investment in Ocean & Oil Investments Limited (O&OI). O&OI is a Nigerian investment holding company whose main asset is an approximately 32 percent common equity stake in Oando Plc (Oando), Nigeria's largest indigenous diversified oil and gas company. Oando is listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa. O&OI is Oando's largest shareholder and provides the company with substantial management and technical support. ECP's investment -- the firm's fifth in the African oil and gas sector -- was made through subordinated convertible notes.

"ECP views Oando as uniquely competitive due to its management strength, size, market position and steady core downstream business," said Tom Gibian, chief executive officer of ECP. "As the largest indigenous company in the market, Oando is poised to capitalize on many opportunities in the market as the Nigerian government seeks to increase the involvement of local companies in the country's oil and gas sector."

The Nigerian energy sector is undergoing significant change, creating opportunity for Oando through market expansion, decreased regulation and increasing local content requirements throughout the energy value chain. O&OI has a major role in developing Oando's interests in energy services, as well as in the mid and upstream sectors. With the support of ECP, O&OI is expected to further assist Oando in capitalizing on these market segments, where significant opportunities exist for indigenous companies.

"ECP's investment will support Ocean & Oil in its mission to make Oando the premier energy company in West Africa," said Navaid Burney, ECP managing director. "We hope to enhance the company's growth trajectory through our capital as well as our extensive experience in supporting companies with their strategic direction and corporate governance. This company is well placed to experience dramatic growth in the coming few years."

"ECP's investment in Ocean & Oil validates our belief in the growth potential of Oando PLC in the near to medium- term," said Pade Durotoye, chief executive officer of Ocean & Oil. "Oando has successfully developed a strong operating platform upon which it is launching its dynamic growth and diversification vision. This strategic partnering with ECP is indeed a crucial step in Ocean & Oil's vision of seeing Oando become the major player in the Nigeria energy sector."

The investment was made through ECP's US $523 million EMP Africa Fund II. The fund was established in December 2005 to capitalize on the numerous investment opportunities throughout Africa in sectors such as telecom, natural resources, financial services, agribusiness, transportation, and power and water.


Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) is the first private equity firm to raise more than USD $1.2 billion to invest in companies across the African continent. The ECP team has a seven-year track record of pan-African investing through six successful funds. The firm's investment strategy is focused on delivering consistently above-market returns to investors that are uncorrelated to the U.S. and other global economies. For more information, please see www.ecpinvestments.com.

Web site: http://www.ecpinvestments.com

Jennifer Gill, FD for ECP, +1-212-850-5691, jennifer.gill@fd.com