An entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to recognise opportunities and take calculated risks, without compromising its values. We will continue to evolve as an established, but never establishment, firm, with always a twist of the unexpected.
The Addax and Oryx Group (AOG) is founded in December 1987 by Jean Claude Gandur and 3 associates, with an expertise in international trade and Africa. The Group begins in oil trading in West Africa.
The Addax and Oryx Group (AOG) starts out in oil trading in West Africa in December 1987.
AOG demonstrates from the start its ability to diversify its investments and take calculated risks, entering Africa’s mining sector with an investment in gold exploration company, Samax Gold.
As part of its strategy to take products to end users, AOG launches Addax Bunkering Services in 1989, in order to supply ships and offshore platforms with the fuels, lubricants and associated services they need. Addax Bunkering Services will become a key player in the African bunkering market.
AOG is quick to understand the importance of access to energy for Africa’s social and economic development. In 1989, it acquires Esso’s petroleum depot in Senegal as a first step towards supplying consumers and industry directly with the products they need.
AOG acquires a majority stake in oil company Phoenix, in Nigeria, in 1989. It is the Group’s first investment in service stations in Africa. Through the years, its network of service stations will expand and consolidate, before investments grow again from 2013.
Samax Gold, formed in 1987, is developing well and is listed on the Toronto stock exchange in 1996.
With the creation of its upstream exploration and production company, Addax Petroleum, AOG becomes an integrated oil company, active in exploration-production, trading and the storage and distribution of oil products in sub-Saharan Africa. Addax Petroleum begins with the development of marginal oil fields in Nigeria, before expanding its operations in Africa and the Middle-East.
Leveraging its expertise in international trade, AOG creates Ascot Commodities in 1997, a company active in rice trading and that mainly imports into sub-Saharan Africa. 10 years later, Ascot will be among the top 10 international companies in the sector. Ascot ceases its activities in 2010, as AOG refocuses on the energy sector.
In 1997, AOG expands its downstream activities in West Africa, as it pursues its strategy of supporting development in the region. It begins the construction of an oil and gas terminal in Benin, with the objective of extending access to energy along the West African coast, including landlocked countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The investment is hailed as the largest private investment in West Africa for a number of years. The terminal is inaugurated in 1999.
After 10 years, thanks to a dynamic investment strategy and an exceptional ability to recognise opportunities, AOG has already become an integrated oil company, active in oil exploration-production, trading, and the storage and distribution of oil products in sub-Saharan Africa. Its entrepreneurial spirit has also led the Group to diversify into related sectors, like mining or rice trading, which require expertise in trading and/or Africa.
AOG sells Samax Gold to Ashanti Goldfields in 1998. Founded in 1987 and listed on the Toronto stock exchange in 1996, Samax has successfully developed gold exploration projects in Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal and the Republic of Congo.
Leveraging its success with Samax Gold, sold the same year, AOG continues its interest in the African mining sector as it invests in Axmin, active in gold exploration in Africa. Axmin successfully develops projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and the Central African Republic. It is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2001. AOG will gradually withdraw from the company, as it refocuses on the energy sector.
AOG invests for the first time in East Africa, when it acquires AGIP’s assets in Tanzania, including 75 service stations, a lubricants blending plant and 50% of TIPER, a former refinery that it will convert into oil storage. Like in West Africa, the Group aims to contribute to development in the region by facilitating access to energy, including for landlocked countries in the Great Lakes region and Zambia.
AOG enters the LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) market in 1999, when it inaugurates its oil and gas terminal in Benin (started in 1997) and opens an LPG terminal in Tanzania the following year. The strategy is clear: to promote LPG as a healthier, safer and more ecological energy alternative to firewood, charcoal and kerosene. LPG develops strongly from 2001, thanks in particular to the « Oryx MiniGas » concept, launched in Benin, which offers a small LPG cylinder, together with cooking accessories, at an affordable price for low-income families. The concept is a great success and will be deployed to other countries in the region.
Through its acquisition of AGIP Tanzania, AOG is able to enter the lubricants market thanks to the existing blending plant. The blends are designed in Geneva, adapted to Africa’s harsh conditions, and produced close to the market for consumers and industry. AOG opens a second blending plant in 2011 in Togo to serve West Africa.
In order to expand its oil supply to non-producing countries, AOG takes a 30% stake in oil trading and export company, Tradex, in Cameroon, with the aim of supplying countries in the CEMAC region (Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa).
From 2002, AOG uses the “Oryx” brand for all its downstream activities (storage and distribution). It launches the same year its range of “Oryx” lubricants in West Africa.
AOG makes significant investments in its downstream activities between 2003 and 2005. It launches fuel and lubricants distribution activities in Mauritania (acquisition of Exxon-Mobil assets), develops its network of service stations in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, launches LPG operations in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire (acquisition of Shell assets), and opens a strategic storage terminal in Sierra Leone, becoming a key player on the west coast of Africa.
In 2004, AOG’s trading arm, under the “Addax” brand, is the leading independent oil trader in Africa. This includes the export of production from AOG’s upstream company, Addax Petroleum, towards refineries in West Africa, Europe, North America and Asia. It exports oil from Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire, and imports oil to respond to the needs of non-producing African nations. Its trading arm has also established a presence in Asia and the Caspian region.
AOG decides to consolidate its downstream activities in 2005, after several years of strong development. It reduces its service station network in Tanzania and stops its distribution activities in Mauritania. At the same time, it confirms the successful strategic shift towards the development of LPG on the continent. LPG activities are underway in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania. The Group will pursue this strategy over the coming years to become one of the key players in LPG in sub-Saharan Africa.
Addax Petroleum, AOG’s oil exploration and production company, is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2006, with an average annual production of 90,000 barrels/day.
After 20 years, AOG is considered a major player in the energy market, with a presence in 15 countries and 900 employees. The Group has grown through acquisitions, partnerships and direct investments. Thanks to oil trading and downstream activities, it supplies and distributes fuels, lubricants and LPG across sub-Saharan Africa. It is also a leader in niche markets like bunkering and rice trading. AOG has successfully developed oil exploration and production operations in Africa and the Middle East. Its success confirms the model of continuous investment and diversification, based on a strong entrepreneurial dynamic and a capacity to take calculated risks.
Leveraging its experience in fuels and Africa, AOG creates Addax Bioenergy in 2008 with the ambition to develop a sustainable model for bioenergy and green electricity from sugarcane in Sierra Leone. Partnerships with international development agencies, strict social and environmental rules, lengthy prior evaluations and dialogue with local communities. The approach includes other contributions to local communities through a Farmer Development Program, together with innovative solutions that provide landowners with recognised land rights for the first time.
AOG sells its upstream company, Addax Petroleum, to Chinese conglomerate Sinopec in 2009. It is the largest Chinese acquisition of a foreign oil company at the time (US$7.24 billion). Created in 1994, Addax Petroleum developed oil fields in Africa and the Middle East, and had reached average annual production of over 140,000 barrels/day at the time of the sale.
AOG decides to further pursue opportunities in the upstream industry with the creation of Oryx Petroleum, which rapidly acquires promising exploration licenses in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Following the sale of Addax Petroleum, AOG diversifies further, expanding this time into real estate. AOG Real Estate makes direct (with specialised partners) and indirect investments in commercial real estate in Europe and North America, rapidly demonstrating the same ability to successfully recognise opportunities and take calculated risks. It makes its first direct investments in London in 2010, followed by others in London, Malta, Paris and Madrid (from 2016).
With a continued focus on delivering energy products directly to consumers and industry in Africa, AOG invests in a second, ultra-modern lubricants blending factory, this time in Togo, to serve the needs of West Africa. Its initial factory in Tanzania, acquired in 1999, continues to supply East Africa.
Oryx Petroleum, AOG’s upstream oil exploration and production company, created in 2010, is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2013.
Oryx Energies is born of the merger of AOG’s trading and downstream activities in 2013. Oryx Energies is an integrated platform that masters the value chain from the acquisition of products on the open market (trading) to their storage and distribution to end users in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the consecration of the strategy of complementarity pursued for many years. Significant investments are planned and executed over the following 5 years, with the objective of reinforcing its position as one of the most important private players in the energy sector in the region (new terminal in Las Palmas, more service stations, more LPG cylinders and storage facilities, and its first-ever panafrican advertising campaign).
In 2013, Addax Bioenergy receives certifications that confirm the sustainable model that it has sought to apply. It receives the first African certification by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). It then becomes the first operation in Sierra Leone to be registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the first sugarcane-based power generation facility for ethanol production to be registered as a CDM in Africa.
As it reaches its 25th year, AOG proceeds with an extensive repositioning and rebranding in order to better reflect the significant diversification of its investments over the years. It becomes simply AOG, reflecting its Addax and Oryx heritage, while recognising that it has evolved into a diversified investment group, active in the energy, real estate and capital investment sectors. It is also the opportunity to articulate the culture and values that have always been at the heart of its success: Alert, Principled, Adaptable.
Created in 2010, AOG Real Estate completes its first major property redevelopments (with its partners) in London and Paris, in 2013, and sells the Paris renovation (the ex-Panhard factory) to a French real estate firm. It will continue an active management of its real estate portfolio.
Oryx Petroleum, AOG’s upstream oil exploration and production company created in 2010, begins production and makes its first crude oil sales in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Addax Bioenergy begins the production of sustainable biofuels and green electricity from sugarcane in Sierra Leone. The first sales take place in 2015.
AOG Real Estate makes its first investments in Spain in 2016, with 2 construction projects in Madrid. It takes advantage of the high real estate prices in London to sell three of its properties at record capitalisation rates, in anticipation of the potential currency effects of the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union. It also has direct investments in Geneva, London, Madrid, Malta and Paris, as well as holdings in US real estate funds.
AOG transfers majority ownership of Addax Bioenergy, its sustainable bioenergy and green electricity production company in Sierra Leone, to a group of investors led by Sunbird Bioenergy Africa, in order to ensure its future success. Created in 2008, activities had been suspended in 2015, after seven years of investment, due to the significant impact of a number of unforeseeable events, including the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Following the fall in oil prices in 2014, Oryx Petroleum strengthens its financial position with funding from a new shareholder, Zeg Oil and Gas. It restructures, continues production in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and develops its license area offshore Senegal and Guinea Bissau.
AOG has come a long way in 30 years to become a diversified private investment group. It has kept its commitment to energy in Africa, while diversifying its investments towards commercial real estate in Europe and North America, and other capital investments. Whatever the sector, AOG is recognised for its entrepreneurial spirit, its ability to recognise opportunities and take calculated risks, without compromising its values. It will certainly continue to evolve as an established, but never establishment, firm, with always a twist of the unexpected.