Emerging Nigerian oil company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, has been granted an extension to the deadline for announcing whether it intends to make a firm offer for oil producer Afren, the London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed firm said on Monday.

“The board of the company has received the consent of the UK Takeover Panel for an extension to the deadline until 17:00 GMT on 30 January 2015 to enable the parties to continue their ongoing discussions,” Afren said in a statement. Seplat, earlier this month, confirmed that it had made an opening approach to take over Afren with Jan 19 2015 as the deadline to firm up the deal.

According to a report by reuters, Seplat lost out on Shell’s divested assets in October last year and has since been on the lookout for acquisitions in Nigeria.

Afren, however, has been overwhelmed by elevated corruption which led to the dismissal of its founder and Chief Executive, Osman Shahenshah, as well as a recent cutting of resource approximations at a Kurdistan oilfield. Seplat’s strong financial position, following dual initial public offerings in the NSE and LSE last April may now prove Afren’s only saving grace.

On the other hand, Seplat’s interest in the company had once supported its shares, and it could do it again, as explained in a report by Ventures Africa.

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