Caverton Plans African Growth After Nigeria Exchange Listing

Caverton Offshore Support Group, a Nigerian company that provides marine and aviation services to the oil and gas industry, plans to expand in four new countries after listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday.

“We’re looking at taking our aviation and offshore logistics support services to Congo, Mozambique, Angola and Ghana” over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer Olabode Makanjuola said in an interview in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. “We’re invited by the international oil companies and investors in these countries.”

Caverton listed 3.35 billion shares at 9.50 naira each on the Nigerian bourse, it said in an e-mailed statement. That gave the company, which provides oil field services for multinationals including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA, a market capitalization of about 32 billion naira ($196 million).

The share listing is a boost to the stock market in Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Oscar Onyema said at the listing ceremony. The NSE is targeting a market capitalization of $1 trillion from the current $75 billion estimated by Bloomberg. Caverton is the second company to list in Nigeria this year, the first being Seplat Petroleum Development Co.

Caverton shares fell 9.7 percent to 8.58 naira as of the close in Lagos, its second day of trading.

Buying Helicopters

The company, which currently operates in Nigeria and Cameroon, plans to buy seven new helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft by the third quarter to boost its aviation support services, Makanjuola said. The company will raise further capital “as the need arises” to fund expansion, he said, without giving further details.

Caverton is tendering for four aviation-support service contracts that will require as many as 26 helicopters and for three marine-support service deals that will need up to seven vessels, Makanjuola said.

The company’s net income rose to 1.88 billion naira in the year through December from 1.36 billion naira in 2012, it said in its filing yesterday to the Lagos bourse. Revenue rose to 18.6 billion naira from 16.1 billion naira.