Feb 16, 2024 - Business

Military coup changes up Carlyle's oil sale plans

Illustrations of two oil barrels facing off on a chessboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Gabon's state-owned oil company has agreed to acquire Assala Energy, a Gabon-focused oil and gas firm, from Carlyle Group.

Why it matters: This may be the first time a military coup d'état has led directly to a nine-figure private equity sale.

Background: Carlyle last August agreed to sell Assala to France's Maurel & Prom for $730 million (plus around $600 million in assumed debt).

  • Just weeks later came a general election and subsequent coup, pushing the Bongo family out of power after more than five decades.
  • The new government chose to exercise its preemption right on Assala, rather than accept Maurel & Prom's offer of a slight ownership stake increase.

The bottom line: Carlyle says the new deal terms are "materially the same."

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