By Dapo Akinrefon
THERE are strong indications that stakeholders in Lagos-based AIM-listed oil and gas company, Lekoil could face difficult times over an alleged moved by Seplat and Savannah oil to covet its assets.
Lekoil is headed by Mr. Lekan Akinyanmi.
Reliable industry sources have confirmed that the Company is perennially battling with a lot of issues, including wrong choice of underlying assets, questionable decision making and financial excesses.
It was, however, gathered that the shareholders accused the leadership of the company of an alleged 90% crash in shareholders’ value over the past 5 years, at a time where more prudent competitors delivered tremendous values to their UK stakeholders.
A stakeholder who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed worry that the “rock-star remunerations of the Company’s executive management has not reflected in financial and overall performance bottom-line.”
“The Company’s distresses are worsened given its preference for setting undelivered goals as proven in numerous failed times to meet targets promised to stockholders”, the stakeholder added.
Independent financial experts have compared the Company’s financial statements to other AIM-listed
Companies with similar caps and could not explain “the curiously irrational overhead, which explains the reason why the Company is folding under the weight of disproportionate loans it had taken from local Nigerian banks at uncompetitive interest rates.”
It was further gathered that the Company is presently stressed with meeting its overhead and is urgently considering down-sizing its headcount in what is considered as last-ditched efforts that suggests the Company may not endure beyond 2020 in its current form.
Another source disclosed that “Lekoil’s shareholders are seriously considering the Eland’s option of disposing their shares at premium to larger, better-run competitors with operations in Nigeria. There are substantial hard and cost synergies with this option, with appreciable cost savings and revenue increases.”
However, Lekoil’s management is alleged to be frustrating these attempts but industry watchers claimed that banks are currently working with Lekoil on a detailed valuation of its assets and liabilities with the intent of preventing potential Eland’s style hostile takeover.
Efforts to reach the Lekoil boss, Lekan Akinyanmi, proved abortive as his mobile numbers were switched off.
In other industry news, the Federal Government has reiterated its support for the $12bn Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical through feedstocks and off-takers of products to add value to the nation’s economy.
Mr. Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made this known during the tour of the refinery project in Lagos last Sunday.
The minister was accompanied by Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mr Shakur Rufai, Acting Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and all Heads of NNPC subsidiaries. situated at Lekki Free Trade Zone in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.
The minister said that it was subject to the government’s discussion with Dangote on areas of support.
“This is one of the most impressive projects I have ever seen in Nigeria done by Nigerians. It is a very encouraging development.