Helios and Vitol’s African venture floats the largest IPO at the London Bourse in 2018

Vivo Energy, the African fuels supplier owned by premier Africa-focused private investment firm Helios Investment Partners LLP and trading commodities company Vitol Group on Friday, floated the largest London IPO of the year with a valuation of nearly 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion). This comes almost a month after the company announced that it was going to float on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“It’s a success. The offer was seriously oversubscribed, “ the Chief Executive of Vivo, Christian Chammas told Reuters.

The initial offer price for just under 30 percent of the company floated was set at 165 pence per share but the shares grew to 169.50 pence in conditional trading. This IPO is the most significant Africa-focused listing in London since Seplat raised $500 million in a 2014 IPO with a market capitalization of $1.9 billion.

With this listing led by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan, Vivo Energy will be able to join FTSE 250 index.

What you should know about Vivo Energy

Vivo Energy is the company behind the Shell brand in Africa. Helios, Vitol, and Shell created the company in 2011 when Shell divested its majority share in its downstream operations in 16 African markets.  It was established to distribute and market Shell-branded fuels and lubricants.

It is present in Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Namibia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, and Western Sahara.

Its retail network has grown from 1,300 to over 1,700 stations.

Since taking over from Shell in 2011, Vivo has spent $600 million on expanding its retail network. It sold 9 billion litres of fuel and lubricants in 2017. And this is nearly 40 percent more than when it took over.

In 2017,  Vivo energy reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of $376 million which is an increase from the $302 million recorded in 2016.

What you didn’t know about Helios and Vitol

Helios manages about $3 billion in sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, funds of funds, family offices, and development finance institutions across the globe. Vitol is an energy and commodities firm trading over six million barrels of crude oil per day and refined products globally.