BPOPF hikes stake in Tlou Energy

  • Forks out P21 million to hike its shareholding
  • Other local fund managers also buy shares


Africa’s third largest pension fund by value, the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) has paid out P21 million to secure 28 million shares in natural gas exploring company, Tlou Energy Limited, available information reveals.

According to information availed by Tlou Board of Directors, Botswana fund management companies have pumped in a total of P21.8 million into the Australian controlled mining outfit, hiking up shares held by Batswana in the company.

The company announced that it has successfully completed an equity placement to sophisticated investors totaling P21.8 million (approximately AUD$2.9 million.

Tlou said the placement comprised the issue of 29 066 650 new ordinary shares representing 6.46 percent of the enlarged share capital, at an issue price of P0.75. Further, 28 000 000 shares were specifically issued to an existing shareholder, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF). Following this placement BPOPF, an institution under the stewardship of Principal Officer Boitumelo Molefe, will hold 47 230 769 shares of the enlarged share capital of the company, representing 10.49 percent holding of Tlou Energy Limited. BPOPF is the largest pension Fund in Botswana with Assets Under Management (AUM) exceeding P65 billion. Through its cash power, the BPOPF is the single largest institutional investor in companies listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL). It also has significant interests in Botswana’s private equity field. Other local fund managers consequently have acquired the remaining 1 066 650 shares in Tlou, to the tune of P0.8 million.

However, Tlou omitted to reveal the names of other local fund managers who bought shares in the company, as well as how much stake would not be held by Batswana companies and individual local investors in totality as compared to foreign investors.

According to the company, the placement has been completed at P0.75 per share (approximately AUD$0.10). The price was approximately a 4 percent premium to the closing Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) price on Monday 15 April of AUD$0.096. According to the company, funds have been raised from both long and short term existing shareholders as well as new Botswana based fund managers. Tlou Managing Director Tony Gilby expressed excitement over the confidence that Botswana Fund Managers have shown by participating in the strategic placement. According to the MD, it has been the company’s wish to increase the number and stake of Batswana shareholders. He said the company’s stated goals to increase the local shareholding will have long term benefits for both local and international shareholders. The proceeds of the placement, along with existing cash provides further working capital for ongoing activities including exploration and downstream development work, continued gas flow testing at the recently completed production wells and efforts to secure a power purchase agreement.