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Company sued $249m for breach of contract

By Onozure Dania

A $249 million suit has been slammed against the African Capital Alliance Ltd (ACA), over alleged breach of contract.

The company was sued alongside other defendants by Petroleum Zion Exploration and Production Ltd, for breach of confidentiality, obligations and alleged unlawful interference with economic interests. The plaintiff, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, claimed that the company unlawfully interfered with its transaction to purchase Afren’s stake in Oil Mining Lease (“OML”) 26, with a production potential of over 10,000 barrels oil per day.

Others joined as defendants in the suit are PJT Partners UK Ltd, FHN 26 Ltd, Wilmington Trust (London) Ltd, Vertex Energy Ltd, Department of Petroleum Resources, and Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Other parties are Simon Jonathan Appell, Daniel Imison and Ms. Catherine Williamson (who are being sued in their capacity as UK administrators of Afren UK Plc and Afren Nigeria Holdings Ltd).

The plaintiff contended that, sometime in 2015, Afren Plc (a UK listed Pan- African Oil and Gas Company currently under insolvency) mandated PJT Partners (a subsidiary of Blackstone Group UK) to liquidate all its assets in Nigeria, including its 100% stake in FHN26 (a special purpose vehicle of that owns a 45% interest in OML 26).

It expressed interest in acquiring the said stake in OML 26 (the “Sale Asset”) and was eventually declared preferred bidder, whereupon it commenced negotiations, in good faith, and reach agreement to execute a Sale Purchase Agreement in respect of the Sale Assets (“SPA”).


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