New details on Sonangol split
LUANDA, December 20, 2016 – Sonangol head Isabel dos Santos has said the NOC would be divided into three units, exploration and production, logistics and a division to manage concessions to international oil companies.
Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times on Monday, Dos Santos added that the company’s holdings not related to oil would be placed in a separate fund or sold.
The Ministry of Oil announced that Sonangol would be restructured in April 2016. Boston Consulting Group, PwC and Vieira de Almeida have been hired to assist with the restructure. According to them, as of November 2016, the first of four phases has been planned, and the restructuring will be completed by the end of 2017.
Earlier in the month, Sonangol said it would not pay dividends for the year as revenues dropped to USD 15.3 billion from USD 40 billion in 2013. The company’s debt is estimated to total USD 9.85 billion, and Dos Santos said the company needed to find financing to pay suppliers USD 1.56 billion before the end of 2016. The setup of a separate agency to perform Sonangol’s concessionaire and regulatory duties would help lower costs.
President José Eduardo dos Santos appointed his daughter, Isabel, as head of Sonangol in June of this year after the company’s board was sacked by presidential decree. The move is reported to have been intended by the president to increase efficiency and profitability and implement reforms. However, the appointment could raise some concerns among international banks wanting to do business with Sonangol over compliance with anti-nepotism rules and has led to a lawsuit and Supreme Court inquiry.