The management of Ascot Offshore Nigeria Limited has denied the allegation that the shares of Delta State government in Oceanic Bank were sold to pay the loan the company obtained from Intercontinental Bank to buy an oil servicing company, Willbros Group Inc, in 2006.
In a statement issued by Ascot Management on Friday, the company debunked the claims, saying the allegation was baseless.
While acknowledging that Delta State Government “used a portion of its shares in Oceanic Bank Int. Plc for the transaction,” the company, however, insisted. “The Portion of Oceanic Bank shares used to part-secure the loan was never sold to pay off the loan obtained by Ascot.”
Delta State government, Intercontinental Bank Plc and Ascot have confirmed that the shares are still in place. This fact can easily be verified through the CSCS (Central Securities Clearing System)”.
The company emphasized that it emerged winners in a “very keenly contested bid. The purchase price was approximately $150m. As in any leveraged buy-out, Ascot had to source for funds to buy the company.
It approached Intercontinental Bank for a facility.”The Ascot management further explained that the involvement of Delta State government in the purchase of Wilbros, an American based company, when it divested its holdings in Nigeria four years ago due to the crisis in the Niger Delta, was an open deal, which has benefitted the state.