Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Venture Capital Bank Acquires Stake in Major Oil Drilling Company

MANAMA, Bahrain, November 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Capital Bank (VC
 Bank), a Bahrain-based investment bank, along with its partner, the US
 private equity firm Global Emerging markets (GEM), have acquired a
 significant stake in the MENA-based oil drilling contractor Challenger
 Limited. Established in 1991, Challenger currently owns and operates a
 fleet of 22 rigs in Libya providing drilling and work-over services of oil,
 gas and water wells, with offices in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
 The acquisition was co-funded by VC Bank and its strategic technical
 partner GEM illustrating VCBank's non-conventional pursuit to attract North
 American and European funds and sources of capital to investment
 opportunities in the MENA region. This significant transaction was
 completed by a team from VC Bank and GEM, not only strengthening the
 successful partnership between the two firms, but demonstrating that the
 region hosts many attractive, yet obscured, investment opportunities
 represented in privately held companies such as Challenger that operates
 mainly in Libya. 
 The conclusion of this transaction by VCBank depicts the dimensions of
 the Bank's mandate to secure unique and attractive deals in the region for
 its investors and at the same time provide expansion and financing
 solutions to the regional small-to-medium enterprises in order to fulfill
 their untapped potential. Thus, the investment made in Challenger is
 mutually beneficial to both parties, allowing Challenger to achieve its
 growth plan and helping VC Bank to achieve its objectives of supporting
 regional companies and contributing towards the economies of the MENA
 Challenger Limited is an international provider of contract oil and gas
 land drilling and work over services, with over 15 years experience
 servicing major and independent oil and gas companies, first in Africa, and
 now expanding into the Middle East. It has a strong client base, including
 nearly all state-owned oil companies as well as international players such
 as Agip/Eni, Total. Marathon, Veba and Verenex Energy.
     Challenger Limited Chairman Mr. Hassan Tatanaki declared that "amongst
 all the alternative financing routes available to the company, Challenger's
 management has chosen to partner with VC Bank and GEM in order to fuel and
 expedite its capacity expansion plans and its geographical coverage. This
 was based on our utter confidence and belief in the investment model
 pursued by VC Bank and GEM and the clarity of the financing roadmap
 presented by them". Mr. Tatanaki said that "this transaction demonstrates
 that the growing cooperation among Libya, the US and the Middle East is
 creating an attractive investment environment for US and international
 financial institutions.
     "We are very happy that Challenger attracted foreign investments into
 Libya, especially from prominent institutions from the Middle East and the
 United States such as VC Bank and GEM. We are very proud of this
 partnership and believe that Challenger is just the starting point for many
 investments in different areas in Libya, including tourism, agri-business
 and, most importantly 'value added' manufacturing and processing."
     Mr. Tatanaki added that "in the oil sector, with Libya in particular,
 oil production in the 1970s was more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd)
 compared to today's levels of 1.6 million bpd. Therefore, with proven
 estimated current reserves of 39.5 billion barrels of mainly sweet light
 crude, an aggressive plan has been introduced by the Libyan government to
 enhance oil production capabilities to levels close to those of the 70s by
 2010. Libya hopes to return its output levels to close to three million
 barrels per day (bpd) by 2010, the highest since the prosperous 1970s.
 Since the lifting of sanctions, exploration concessions have been granted
 to international exploration companies, which hope to drill 50 exploration
 wells per year."
     "We are very pleased to announce this transaction as it confirms VC
 Bank's objectives of enhancing the capabilities of regional companies and
 contributing in their growth plans. Challenger is one of the oldest oil
 drilling companies in Africa, and particularly in Libya. Since inception,
 the company has been growing every year producing impressive financial
 results. Therefore, we believe that our investment in Challenger will help
 the company snatch the exceptional growth potential in Libya and will allow
 it enter international markets" said VC Bank Chief Executive Officer
 Abdullatif Mohammed Janahi. "Soaring oil prices have brought about a
 supply/demand imbalance of oil rigs worldwide, leading oil and gas
 companies to spend more on exploration and production. This has, in turn,
 increased demand for oil drilling contractors such as Challenger." Mr.
 Janahi added.
     The company fits very well with the investment Strategy of the USD 250
 million MENA Fund, recently launched and co-managed by VC Bank and GEM,
 which focuses on high growth companies in the region. Challenger will be
 one of the first companies that the Fund will acquire, offering the Fund
 investors a unique investment opportunity expected to generate superior
 returns. With companies such as Challenger, the Fund will hopefully be able
 to achieve returns promised to investors.
     "Given Challenger's presence and knowledge of the Libyan market as well
 as its experienced management and high quality drilling rigs, the company
 is well positioned to become the contractor of choice for both state-run
 oil companies and multinationals," said Global Emerging Markets NA
 President Chris Brown. "We believe that having a first mover advantage to a
 promising market like Libya will help the Fund in identifying many
 lucrative opportunities" added Mr. Brown.
     About Venture Capital Bank
     The venture capital banking concept promoted by VC Bank is the first
 initiative of its kind that targets such a niche market in the region.
 Established in October 2005 in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a paid-up
 capital of US Dollar 66 million and an authorized capital of US Dollar 500
 million, Venture Capital Bank (VCBank) carves a niche in the regional
 investment banking arena and introduces a visionary approach to business.
 Rooted in the values of Islamic Shari'ah and founded in the confines of a
 sound regulatory framework, the Bank brings home pioneering banking
 practices and cutting-edge investment alternatives in the form of
 attractive venture capital and private equity opportunities. Through a
 robust business model, the Bank is established and operated as a venture
 capital based investment bank that is active in four principal areas:
     - Venture Capital
     - Private Equity
     - Real Estate
     - Financial Advisory

Venture Capital Bank 

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