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Investors Dump Oando Shares Amid News of UK Court Ruling

By Dipo Olowookere

It was a bad trading day for Oando Plc as the energy firm suffered a 9.4 percent loss on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday.

This occurred as investors, who have shares of the company in their portfolio, quickly offloaded them after they read in the news this morning of a court ruling in the United Kingdom ordering group chief executive officer of the firm, Mr Adewale Tinubu, and his deputy, Mr Mofe Boyo, to pay about $680 million to Mr Gabriele Volpi.

Mr Volpi, who has been at loggerheads with management of Oando, filed a petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year, alleging gross misconduct.

His petition led to the suspension of Oando on the NSE as well as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa, where the company is also listed.

Business Post gathered that as soon as investors read of the ruling by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) today, they started selling off shares of the company, which led to its loss today.

Oando, which was sold last Friday at N6.40k per share, closed on Monday at N5.80k per share, representing a price depreciation of 60 kobo.

However, the management of Oando Plc has emphasised that the company was never a party to the suit or ordered to make any payment to Mr Volpi or his company, Ansbury Investment Incorporated, as being speculated in a section of the media.

Oando’s Head of Corporate Communications, Ms Alero Balogun, categorically stated that, “The ruling by the LCIA does not involve Oando, as Oando was not and has never been party to the arbitration, the ruling states that Whitmore and Ocean and Oil Development Partners are indebted to Ansbury Inc, nowhere is there mention of Oando Plc.”

She further said, “It is critical that people understand that not only are we not involved in this dispute, we do not owe money to any of the parties involved.”

“The continued mention of our name in what is a 3rd party dispute is unfortunate and damaging to the brand and shareholder value,” Ms Balogun stressed.

From the $680 million debt, LCIA ordered Whitmore Asset Management Limited to pay $80 million, while Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI and British Virgin Islands are to pay $600 million.

Business Post reports that OODP BVI Ltd is owned by Mr Adewale Tinubu, Mr Mofe Boyo and Mr Gabriele Volpi.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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