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Ardova dismisses reports on winding up of majority investor over $6m debt

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Ardova Plc has reacted to reports on the winding up of its largest shareholder, Prudent Energy and Services Limited (PESL), over failure to meet its debt obligations to Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited.

Prudent Energy had through Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited acquired 74.02 percent stake in Ardova from Zenon Petroleum, owned by billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, at the cost of $200 million in 2019.

The company owned by a billionaire investor, Abdulwasiu Sowami, is expected to pay the balance of $6 million to Zenon Petroleum on June 18.

Sowami is also the chairman of Ardova Plc.

Following Prudent Energy’s failure to pay the $6 million, Zenon Petroleum approached the court to wind up the company and take over its shares in Ardova in exchange for the money.

Ardova is valued at N16.9 billion in the Nigerian capital market with Prudent Energy’s investment in the firm valued at N12.6 billion.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ardova dismissed reports on the winding up of Prudent Energy.

READ ALSO: Ardova boss, Olumide Adeosun, wants Nigerian govt to increase fuel price above N165

The statement read: “Attention of the management of Ardova Plc (Ardova or the Company) has been drawn to news circulated in various media publications on August 8, 2022, which seem to include Ardova Plc in a report of a ‘charge’ to wind-up Prudent Energy & Services Limited (PESL) over an alleged inability to pay $6 million debt presented to the Federal High Court by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Zenon).

“Ardova Plc hereby states that the story is misleading and presents the facts of the matter as follows:

“(i)The issues relate to the claims and warranties under the Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) between Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited (“Ignite”) and Zenon together with its affiliates for the acquisition of shares in Forte Oil Plc (now Ardova Plc).

“(ii)There are no claims against Ardova Plc as an entity. There are no winding-up petitions threatened or filed against Ardova Plc in respect of these issues or any other issue.

“(III) For the avoidance of doubt, Ardova Plc is not a party to any of the proceedings and the proceedings neither affect Ardova Plc’s rights nor create any liability for Ardova Plc in any way.

“However, the company has faith in the dispute resolution process and believe it will culminate in a just resolution of the issues. Ardova wants to avoid being drawn into a media spectacle and consider it important to clarify that this report relates to a dispute between former shareholders and a current shareholder and has nothing to do with Ardova Plc as a separate entity.”

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