ABERDEEN-based Eland Oil & Gas is scheduled to make its debut on the AIM market on Monday in a move initially expected to value the West Africa-focused firm at £135 million, writes Mark Williamson.

Led by chief executive Les Blair, Eland has raised £118m from backers to fund its plans to develop the business, which hopes to start production in Nigeria within months.

Mr Blair's stake is expected to be valued at £675,000 by the flotation, based on an issue price of 100p per share. The oil and gas industry veteran is not selling any shares. Eland has agreed to acquire an interest in the ML40 licence from Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Nigerian Agip in a £97m deal.

It has won backing for its plans from a range of institutions.

The Solstice International Investments vehicle of billionaire Alshair Fiyaz is acquiring a 10.1% stake in Eland, as is City financier Richard Griffiths. Helios Natural Resources is taking 29.4%.