PRESS RELEASE – Nouakchott and Dakar (September 7, 2011) — Deep Drilling Company (“DDC”), the holding company of Drill Corp Sahara S.A. (“DCS”), a Mauritania-based drilling services contractor focused on West Africa’s mining industry, today announced a USD 8 million investment by the Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (“ACRF”), a private equity fund managed by Advanced Finance and Investment Group (“AFIG Funds”). Half of ACRF’s Shariah compliant investment is in the form of a Murabaha tranche consistent with ACRF’s return profile. This investment will enable DCS to expand its fleet of drilling equipment and to execute on a strong pipeline of both mineral exploration and exploitation drilling targets identified in Mauritania and the broader region. DCS provides a range of drilling services, including Diamond, Reverse Circulation, Water Well, Geotechnical, and Environmental drilling to a number of leading international mining customers. The company’s key clients include Kinross Gold Corporation, the operators of the Tasiast gold mine located in Mauritania; and Xstrata, which operates three large scale iron ore projects also located in Mauritania. This transaction led to the creation of DDC as a holding company forDCS, a drilling services company established in 2005 by Mr. Abderrahmane Ould Mohammed, the company’s CEO.
According to Mr. Ould Mohammed: “We see significant opportunity to contribute to the growing mining industry in West Africa. DCS has rapidly achieved local leadership in recent years and is well-placed to capitalize on the increased demand for drilling services across the region. We also look forward to our partnership with AFIG Funds which will greatly enhance management and operations by bringing international best practices, rigorous internal control systems, as well as add to our financial strength.”
Commenting on the ACRF investment, Ms. Lalya Kamara, Investment Manager at AFIG Funds, said: “The opportunity to invest in DCS is consistent with our growth equity investment philosophy. The deal will help the company consolidate its operations and reorganize itself into a more efficient organization with improved corporate governance standards.” Following on this, Mr. Papa Madiaw Ndiaye, CEO of AFIG Funds, said, “We are pleased and proud to collaborate with DCS as it enters into the next phase of its growth strategy. The ACRF investment underscores our commitment to support the growth of indigenous African businesses that have demonstrated the capacity to operate successfully. We look forward to working closely with management to create shareholder value through regional expansion into new markets, add-on investments, and other strategic alternatives.”
About Deep Drilling Company
Deep Drilling Company (“DDC”) is the holding company of Drill Corp Sahara (“DCS”) a Mauritania-based regional drilling services contractor serving the mining industry in Mauritania and neighboring countries. DDC, through its operating subsidiary, DCS, provides a range of drilling services, including Diamond, Reverse Circulation, Water Well, Geotechnical, and Environmental drilling to a number of leading international mining customers in West Africa.
About Advanced Finance and Investment Group
Advanced Finance and Investment Group LLC (“AFIG Funds”) is a private equity fund management company with offices in Dakar, Johannesburg, and Washington, DC. Atlantic Coast Regional Fund LLC (“ACRF”), the maiden fund of AFIG, is a USD 72 million regional fund focused on 29 countries in West and Central Africa. ACRF considers investments in all sectors,
and targets strong growth companies, preferably with a regional scope, in its target region.
Deep Drilling Company
Mr. Abderrahmane Ould Mohamed
Tel: +222 36301914
Mr. Patrice Backer
Tel: +221 33 865-0515