Five disgruntled stakeholders, representing the interests of minority shareholders, have asked Lekoil Limited, the London-listed parent company of Lekoil Nigeria Limited, to provide details on the steps it is taking to avoid a possible delisting from the Alternative Investment section. London Stock Exchange (LSE) Market (AIM).
The group did not meet two deadlines for filing its audited financial report for 2020 and trading its shares and is now under suspension regulators after a three-month extension that ended in September, which shareholders said could speed up his expulsion from the LSE, a letter to Chairman Tony Hawkins seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday showed.
“The Company will provide updates on the suspension when it has more information”, Lekoil said in a document dated October 18, 2021.
Since January, Lekoil has been stuck in a quagmire that sparked a shake up in his leadership when Metallon Corporation, owner of the company’s largest stake, got assent most shareholders to appoint three new directors to the board, a decision hotly contested by Lekan Akinyanmi, founder and CEO of Lekoil.
Metallon then got rid of its 15.1% stake in the group, citing Lekoil Nigeria’s interference in the day-to-day management of Lekoil Group.
Mr. Akinyanmi has taken out an unsecured loan from Lekoil totaling $ 1.6 million (including accrued interest) as of June 30, 2021, which the group is attempting to recover, the company’s earnings report for the 2021 semester. said.
Lekoil Group, based in the Cayman Islands, owns a 40% stake in Lekoil Nigeria.
The five stakeholders who approved the letter are members of the board and management team of Lekoil Nigeria Limited. Three of them, Mr. Akinyanmi, Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode and Gloria Iroegbunam, served on the board of directors of the parent company until June, when they jointly resigned.
“The board of directors of Lekoil Cayman continues to show blatant disregard for the shareholders’ agreement, a legally binding agreement which governs the relationship between Lekoil Cayman and Lekoil Nigeria and which was implemented at the time of the ‘Registration of Lekoil Cayman to meet the requirements in Nigerian law relating to the control of strategic indigenous assets,’ Ms. Muhammed-Oyebode said at the time.
A designated adviser informed Lekoil that the ban on trading its shares, under AIM rules, would not be lifted until the group shed light on its relationship with its Nigerian subsidiary.
Stakeholders said that Lekoil had made no known effort to clarify the issue or contact Lekoil Nigeria for this purpose.
The consent given at the last annual general meeting was to allow Lekoil to settle the shares of fees accrued but unpaid “to third party advisers or contractors who have agreed to take part of their fees in ordinary shares”, have said the five, noting that “entrepreneurs” in this context does not include directors.
Lekoil Nigeria’s indebtedness to the Lekoil Group in mid-year exceeded $ 350 million, according to the latter’s half-yearly financial statements.
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