Nigeria’s Oando Plc said it is not liable to pay Ansbury Inc., a sum of $680 million in damages to be paid to Ansbury Inc., as ordered by the International London Court of Arbitration.
In a terse statement, Oando said it is not a party to the matter as against the reports in the media.
See the statement below:
Oando PLC’s Statement on Media Reports Claiming that a Ruling by the International London Court of Arbitration has Ordered Oando PLC to Pay Ansbury Inc. the Sum of $680million
Our attention has been drawn to reports in print and digital news media purporting that the International London Court of Arbitration has ordered Oando PLC or Wale Tinubu to pay $680 million to Gabriel Volpi, following an investment dispute between Whitmore Asset Management Limited, jointly owned by Adewale Tinubu and Omamofe Boyo and Ansbury Investment Inc. owned by Gabriel Volpi.
This press statement is issued to provide clarity to our shareholders and the general public:
1. Oando PLC (“the Company” or “Oando”) is not a party to the arbitration;
2. The London Court of International Arbitration did not order Oando PLC to pay any sum of money to Ansbury Investments Inc.; and
3. Oando PLC is not in any way indebted to Ansbury Investments Inc.
We understand that the parties involved in the arbitration are Whitmore Asset Management Limited (a company beneficially owned by Jubril Adewale Tinubu and Omamofe Boyo) and Ansbury Investments Inc. (a company beneficially owned by Gabrielle Volpi). We confirm that neither party is a shareholder in Oando PLC.
We are informed that the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on July 6, 2018 ruled that Whitmore Limited should pay Ansbury Inc. the sum of $80m. The LCIA also ordered Ocean and Oil Development Partners OODP BVI (OODP BVI), a joint venture company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands by Ansbury Inc. and Whitmore Limited, to pay Ansbury Inc. the sum of $600m.
OODP BVI are in turn 99% shareholders in Ocean and Oil Development Partners Nigeria (OODP Nigeria) the majority shareholder in Oando PLC by way of 57.37% stake in the Company. The stories also make mention of the petition that Ansbury Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about mismanagement of Oando PLC and indebtedness arising from Ansbury’s interpretation of the published 2016 Audited Financial Statements of Oando PLC.
This is to remind our shareholders and the general public alike that following the petition to the SEC and in line with the SEC’s directives on October 18, 2017, a forensic audit into the affairs of the Company officially began with an on-site review by the appointed external auditor commencing in March 2018.
In the spirit of goodwill, transparency and full disclosure, the Company will continue to cooperate with the SEC in the discharge of their duties as the Capital Markets regulator during this exercise as well as update the market on any reports that may have a bearing on investors’ decision and the value of their shares.
Oando has been locked in a legal battle with some of its shareholders over allegations of mismanagement and shares dilutions which led to its shares trading suspension.
The company’s shares has resumed trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.