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UPDATE 1-Nigerian court orders Oando to buy out minorities, shares fall - YAHOO FINANCE

JUNE 23, 2022

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, June 22 (Reuters) - A Nigerian court has ordered Oando to buy out minority investors in the oil company after a group of shareholders filed a petition to demand the purchase, Oando said on Wednesday.

The company is majority owned by an investment vehicle Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) with 57.37%, while minority shareholders own the remaining 42.63%.

Oando has faced several shareholder disputes and investigation by the securities regulator. Last year, it settled a long-running dispute with the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which had ordered the removal of Oando's management team and suspended its annual meetings.

In 2018, the Nigerian SEC ordered a forensic audit into the oil company's shareholding structure, citing concerns about possible insider trading, following petition by an indirect shareholder of Oando.

The investigations came after the company, which has a dual listing in Johannesburg, acquired ConocoPhillips' Nigerian asset in 2014 to transform itself from a petrol retailer to an oil producer competing with multinationals such as Shell and Exxon Mobil.

On Wednesday, Oando posted its 2019 audited accounts, showing a 207 billion naira ($499 million) loss, driven by borrowings including a $425 million loan from Afrexim bank to settle with Ansbury Investments, the indirect shareholder.

It also said 14 shareholders had won a court order mandating the company to buy their 299.25 million shares, which will trigger a buyout of all minority investors.

Oando shares dropped to a seven-week low following the court order and the oil company said it would delist from the Nigerian Exchange if minority investors agreed to the buyout. The company shares are down 96% from their peak of 127.27 naira in 2008.

($1 = 414.6500 naira) (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Alex Richardson and Mark Potter)


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