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$680M DEBT: Tinubu on his own –Oando



$680M DEBT: Tinubu on his own --Oando

Oando Plc. said it is not affected by the July 6, 2018 ruling of the London Court of International Arbitration ordering the payment of $680 million in favour of Ansbury Investments Incorporated.

In a statement on Monday, Oando pointed out that contrary to a statement issued by the Legal Counsel to Ansbury, Andrea Moja, the amounts owed to Ansbury, owned by Gabriele Volpi, were owed by its Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu, and Deputy Group Chief Executive, Omamofe Boyo.

According to the statement, Whitmore Asset Management Limited owed $80 million, while the balance $600 million is owed by Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI.

It stated that OODP BVI Ltd is owned by Tinubu, Boyo and Volpi, hence the judgement by the LCIA implies that Volpi, as part owner of OODP BVI, owes himself by virtue of his ownership in the company.

Read also: FAAC to probe FIRS over alleged under remittance

The company said, “The dispute dates back to 2017 when Gabriel Volpi allegedly attempted to breach a loan repayment agreement between him and Whitmore Limited in the British Virgin Island. Ansbury and Whitmore Limited incorporated a joint venture investment vehicle in the British Virgin Islands called, Ocean and Oil Development Partners.

“OODP BVI owns a 99.99 per cent stake in Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP Nigeria), who in turn owns 57.37 per cent stake in Oando Plc. Contrary to media speculations, the LCIA had, in fact, ruled that OODP BVI, which Gabriel Volpi owns a 60 per cent stake in, should pay Ansbury (his own company) a total sum of $600m, while Whitmore is to pay Ansbury $80m.

“Going by the ownership structure, this implies that Gabriel Volpi would, in fact, be paying himself $360m. Payment terms have yet to be released by the LCIA and is expected to be made known to the parities in the due course.”

The LCIA had on a July 6, 2018, ordered a repayment of a total of $680m by OODP and Whitmore Asset Management Limited.

The verdict, however, instigated investors’ decision to dump Oando shares during the trading session on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday, the development dragged the share price of Oando down by 9.38 percent to close at N5.80 per share.

By Oluwasegun Olakoyenikan


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