Monday, July 16, 2018 9:00AM / Oando Plc
Lawyers representing Wale Tinubu and Mofe Boyo the Group Chief Executive and Deputy Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC and co-owners of Whitmore Asset Management Limited, have come out to say that contrary to a statement issued by the Legal Counsel to Ansbury Investment, Mr. Andrea Moja, the amounts owed to Ansbury Investments Inc, owned by Mr. Gabriele Volpi, is in fact $80m owed by Whitmore Asset Management Limited, while the balance $600m is owed by Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI.
Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI Ltd, is owned by all three parties Wale Tinubu, Mofe Boyo and Gabriele Volpi, hence the judgement by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) implies that Volpi as part owner of OODP BVI owes himself by virtue of his ownership in the company.
This was made in a ruling on July 6, 2018 by the LCIA. OODP British Virgin Islands owns 99.99% of OODP Nigeria which in turn owns 55.96% of Oando PLC.
The principals have chosen to speak as there were concerns that Volpi’s press release implied that they, Whitmore Limited, had a total indebtedness of $680 million.
Sources have indicated that payment terms for the personal debt are being ironed out by both parties whilst payment terms for the $600 million owed by OODP will be determined by the LCIA which is reputed to be one of the world's leading international institutions for commercial dispute resolution.
The dispute between Gabrielle Volpi and the principals of Oando has been ongoing for over a year and has been a cause of concern for companies and individuals alike who look for investments to grow their business via individuals in the form of equity or debt.
Gabrielle Volpi, a significant shareholder in OODP invested in the company during Oando's acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria assets. At the time it would have seemed like the investment of a lifetime, unfortunately shortly after the price of oil crashed and saw many oil and gas companies fold. That Oando is still alive today is testament to its principals resilience and hard work.
The assumption would be that against this backdrop Gabrielle Volpi would wait for OODP to start to reap the rewards of its investment however he has faced near financial ruin in his home country Italy and it seems is now by any means necessary trying to recoup his investments.
Since the upturn in commodity prices, Oando has recorded 6 consecutive quarters of profits. The company kicked off 2018 on a positive note also, through continued restoration of value to its shareholders via profits in the first quarter of the year.
Oando PLC further sets the record straight that the Company, Oando, is not involved in the case and ruling made on July 6, 2018 by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on the case involving Whitmore Asset Management Limited, a company owned by Jubril Adewale Tinubu and Omamofe Boyo, Ansbury Investments Inc., owned by Gabriele Volpi and Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI Ltd, is owned by all three parties Wale Tinubu, Mofe Boyo and Gabriele Volpi.
Head of Corporate Communications for Oando, Alero Balogun, categorically stated that “the ruling by the LCIA does not involve Oando, as Oando was not and has never been party to the arbitration, the ruling states that Whitmore and Ocean and Oil Development Partners are indebted to Ansbury Inc, nowhere is there mention of Oando PLC. It is critical that people understand that not only are we not involved in this dispute, we do not owe money to any of the parties involved. The continued mention of our name in what is a 3rd party dispute is unfortunate and damaging to the brand and shareholder value.”
Excerpts from the LCIA’s Ruling: