Afren Plc (AFR), a U.K. oil and gas explorer focused on Africa, has agreed to pay $588 million for interests in two production-sharing contracts in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to expand outside the continent.

Afren agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in the Barda Rash and 20 percent in the Ain Sifni projects from Komet Group and the Kurdistan regional government respectively, the London-based company said today in statement. It will fund the acquisition through a mix of new equity sales, debt and cash.

The explorer plans to sell about 83.7 million shares to existing and new investors at the price to be determined by its coordinators, Bank of America Corp. (BAC)’s Merrill Lynch International unit and Morgan Stanley (MS) Securities Ltd. The new shares, if all are sold, would represent about 8.5 percent of the company’s existing shares, Afren said.

Afren Chief Executive Officer Osman Shahenshah in March said that he had a “very rich acquisition pipeline” to expand. The company, which cut its full-year production target last week, has been entering new areas in African oil and gas.

The company agreed to raise a $200 million loan from BNP Paribas (BNP) SA and VTB Group to fund part of the Kurdistan assets acquisition, Afren said.