Bronco Drilling Company acquires 25% of Challenger Limited

25th February 2008

AbdulLatif Mohammed Janahi: 39% Growth in the Value of the Investment within a Year from Acquiring Shares in Challenger 

Venture Capital Bank and Challenger Limited Company signed a definitive agreement with Bronco Drilling Company Inc. whereby Bronco acquires 25% of Challenger Limited Company in return for a combination of in-kind and cash contributions from Bronco. Bronco is a publicly held company headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma, USA and is a provider of contract land drilling and workover services to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies.

This major partnership deal between Challenger and Bronco, comes only one year after Venture Capital Bank and its partner, the US private equity firm Global Emerging Markets (GEM), made a sizable private equity investment through the MENA Small & Medium Enterprises Fund in Challenger, hence strengthening Challenger's position and creating a formidable contractor in the MENA region and beyond. 

On this occasion, Mr. AbdulLatif Mohammed Janahi, Board Member & Chief Executive Officer of Venture Capital Bank and Vice Chairman of Challenger Limited said: "We are happy to announce this achievement that we have been able to achieve 39% growth in the value of the MENA Fund's Investment within a year from acquiring shares in Challenger, in addition to achieving our strategic goal in supporting the emerging and promising projects and affirming the bank strategy to strengthen the capacity of regional companies, contributing to its growth plans in the various GCC countries, Middle East and North Africa, funding it according to Sharia'h compliant methods and in accordance with the standards of international investments. Since our investment in Challenger a year ago, we had joint efforts with Challenger's management team in order to achieve the goals set for the company. We are confident that Bronco entry in Challenger will create a competitive edge for the company and would increase the market value of the company and investors. "

Bronco Drilling entry in Challenger Limited will make additional rigs available to Challenger, which enables it to meet the growing demand in the Libyan market and Middle East and North Africa's markets and will enhance its presence in these markets. As a result of this transaction, Challenger will receive an additional 10 rigs taking its total fleet size to 33 rigs". 

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Sharif Monfaradi, Chief Investment Officer, Private Equity & Financial Advisory Venture Capital Bank and Board Member of Challenger Limited said: "In addition to the resources Bronco will provide Challenger with Management and operational support, we will be able to expand our business outside the Libyan market, especially the GCC markets. We are working with all our efforts to exploit these potentials to move forward towards achieving our goals in the long run".

"This strategic partnership with Bronco will provide Challenger with the latest technological and technical expertise in onshore drilling and in return open up opportunities for Bronco in the growing Libyan oil and gas drilling sector. The growing strategic cooperation between Libya and the United States of America and the Middle East will play a prominent role in creating an attractive environment to the investment companies and global financial institutions. We are very happy with Challenger's success in attracting foreign investments to the Libyan market." added Monfaradi.