Ver Angola

Energy

Sonangol says that partial privatization "is for moving forward", but only at the right time

The president of Sonangol, Sebastião Gaspar Martins, promised that the company's stock exchange "is to move forward", but did not commit, however, to deadlines.

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The government intends to proceed with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 30 percent of the capital of the state oil company, which could yield between 5 and 7 billion euros to the state's coffers, according to estimates presented on the 45th anniversary of company.

"The process is not late. What is needed is for people to understand that it goes through a set of phases and, among these, to purge most of the processes that may have to do with relations between Sonangol and the State, in a way that the IPO, when launched, does not put the shareholder in the future to question whether he really has a company, from a commercial point of view, or even with links to the State, is what we have been doing", declared the responsible to Lusa, to on the sidelines of the Angola Oil & Gas conference.

At issue are "some transactions" that will have taken place while Sonangol was still assuming the concessionary function.

"We are purging them all to allow Sonangol to just focus on its current business activity," he underlined.

There is still no date set to proceed with the offer on the stock exchange.

"They need to be aware that the IPO will happen, but we need to do it well and not with the pressure that might be expected to happen," he said, adding: "We cannot be driven by an agenda that is not ours" .

For the president of Sonangol, the essential thing is to get the job done right. "We need to do this job well and to do it well we need to follow all the phases," said Sebastião Gaspar Martins, noting that an IPO could take three to four years to prepare.

"We have already managed to separate the workers who were linked to Sonangol and are now part of ANPG [National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency, concessionary entity], reconcile expenses that were confused between what was State and Sonangol expenses but still we have a lot to do," said the president of the Angolan oil company, adding that other options are being considered.

"We can talk there in a period of three years, but we can think of options that also do not prevent the process from happening. We are looking at possible subsidiaries that are 'clean'", he said, noting that the matter is being evaluated "but thinking in a global IPO".