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Buckingham's 80m from Ugandan sale

HERITAGE OIL is expected to announce today that it has agreed to sell its Ugandan fields to Italian rival Eni SpA, in a $1.5bn (&pound;909m) deal which will earn chief executive Tony Buckingham around &pound;80m.<br /><br />Buckingham is a former partner in South Africa-based private military company Executive Outcomes, where he worked closely with Simon Mann, the ex-SAS officer.<br /><br />Mann returned to the UK this month after five years in prison in Equatorial Guinea for plotting to overthrow the government. <br /><br />Heritage describes his former role as &ldquo;security adviser to various governments&rdquo;, and says that he has not been associated with Executive Outcomes for ten years.<br /><br />Buckingham owns 33 per cent of Heritage&rsquo;s outstanding shares, and will make up to &pound;84m from a special dividend of 90p to 100p being paid to shareholders as part of the Eni deal.<br /><br />Eni, which already has interests in the Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Ghana, will take over Heritage&rsquo;s holdings in the Albert Basin of the Western Rift Valley of Uganda, home to the continent&rsquo;s biggest onshore find in decades. Heritage currently owns 50 per cent of Blocks 1 and 3A, which it shares with Tullow Oil. <br /><br />Money raised could be used either on infrastructure for its Kurdistan oil fields or to change the terms of its merger with Genel Enerji, which is being looked at by the Financial Services Authority . <br /><br /><strong>T&65279;ONY BUCKINGHAM<br />HERITAGE OIL CHIEF EXECUTIVE<br /></strong>ASA FORMER member of the special forces, co-founder of a private military company, and now chief executive of an oil company, Tony Buckingham is not an average chief executive.<br /><br />He founded Executive Outcomes in 1989, with ex-SAS officer Simon Mann, who was recently released from Black Beach prison, Equatorial Guinea.<br />Executive Outcomes&rsquo; first job was in Angola, protecting oil companies threatened by the civil war.<br /><br />Buckingham&nbsp; left Executive Outcomes and insists there has been no involvement with the private military company since 1998, or Simon Mann since 2000.<br /><br />Buckingham founded Heritage Oil in 1992 to exploit oil in Africa, the Middle East and Russia, listing first in Toronto, and then in London in 2008. <br /><br />He is still chief executive, and controls a third of the equity.<br /><br />Buckingham is also a keen sailor, who has represented Great Britain. He has competed in the Admiral&rsquo;s Cup, and he won the prestigious Commodores&rsquo; Cup during Cowes Week in 2000.<br /><br />It is widely believed that he will return to competitive sailing and build a boat to compete in the America&rsquo;s Cup.<br /><br />He lives in Jersey, where Heritage is based, and also owns property in mainland UK, France and Switzerland.