Oando under burden of debt! Wale Tinubu alleged of huge financial mismanagement
- Petitions SEC, seeks to stop company’s AGM
- Volpi wants Wale Tinubu, Mofe Bayo sacked
- Oando: This is an attempt to force us to buyout Volpi
Under the burden of debt, the former billionaire, Wale Tinubu’s pride tottered and spread like dandelions in full blossom. No doubt, Wale has once again, encountered his tender state. This time around, his dissembling may occur in the full glare of the world. As you read, Wale is caught up in the turbulence of steep and unforgiving commerce and the good fact is that he has the instinct and judgment required to wade through the scary storm.
According to The Capital, his days of dominion as Oando Plc boss probably began to unravel the day the oil giant borrowed $80 million dollars from one of the founders and majority shareholder of Intels Nigeria Limited, operator of the oil and gas logistics terminals in Onne, Rivers State and Warri, Delta State, Gabriele Volpi.
Volpi has stepped up his battle against the group chief executive officer of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, over control of Oando, citing alleged mismanagement, cooked books and huge debts.
Accordingly, Ansbury Investments Inc., a firm set up by Volpi, a multi-billionaire who holds dual Italian and Nigerian citizenship, with extensive interests in oil and gas, ports logistic services and real estate spanning 40 years in Nigeria, has written a petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is seeking to stop Oando from holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated to take place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on September 11
He is also pushing for the removal of Tinubu and his deputy, Mr. Omamafe Boyo, over their inability to repay an $80 million loan, which he lent them.
However, Oando has pushed back on the allegations, with a senior official in the company informing THISDAY that Oando’s AGM would go ahead as planned and accused Volpi of resorting to blackmail in order to force Tinubu and his deputy to buyout Ansbury.
In 2012, Volpi had through his company, Ansbury, invested about $700 million in Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP BVI), a special purpose vehicle registered in the British Virgin Islands, by acquiring a 61.9 per cent stake in the firm, while a company owned by Tinubu, Withmore Limited, held 38.10 per cent of the stake in OODP BVI.
Volpi, who also has extensive business interests in Angola, is alleging that he lent $80 million to Withmore to enable Tinubu, whom he said he trusted at the time, to acquire the 38.10 per cent stake in OODP BVI.
Tinubu had approached Volpi to invest in the British Virgin Islands-registered firm when Oando Plc was seeking to acquire ConocoPhillips’ upstream oil and gas assets in Nigeria for $1.5 billion, a deal eventually consummated in 2014.
OODP BVI, in turn, owns 99.99 per cent of the shares of Ocean and Oil Development Partners Nigeria Limited (OODP Nigeria), which holds 55.96 per cent of the shares in Oando Plc, the oil and gas company listed on Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.
According to the report, the grievances of Ansbury, which is now claiming to own 100 per cent of the shares of OODP BVI and 99.99 per cent of OODP Nigeria over Withmore’s inability to repay the $80 million loan, effectively whittling down Tinubu and Boyo’s interest in Oando Plc to 1.2 per cent, stemmed from the alleged mismanagement of the company by Tinubu and Boyo. Ansbury, it was also learnt, is said to be alarmed over the alleged “huge financial mismanagement, very high debt and cooked books” of Oando.
Ansbury is alleging that Oando is in a very bad shape, despite the official financial communications from the company to the contrary.
It was further learnt that Ansbury took the decision to remove the CEO, and sack the entire board and management since March 2017.
Apart from removing Tinubu and sacking the board of directors, Ansbury is also planning to reject any proposal seeking approval for the remuneration of the CEO and other directors of Oando and also reject the approval of the company’s 2016 annual report at its next AGM.
Source: The Capital