The Federal High Court, Lagos Division has further adjourned the petition in Suit No: FHC/L/CP/494/2021-Venus Construction Company Limited &13 others vs. Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited and Oando PLC, which was filed in Court on March 25, 2021 to April 17th 2024.
Oando Plc (NGX: OANDO), a Nigerian energy group listed on both the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), disclosed this in a notification filed on the Nigerian Exchange on Tuesday.
According to the statement sighted by Investogist, the adjournment to 17th April 2024 is for the Court to hear pending applications brought before it by certain shareholders seeking to be joined to the Petition and challenging the Court’s order dated June 7, 2022, which among other orders, directed the Company to file its Scheme of Arrangement document with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the NGX within 30 days.
Venus Construction Company Limited, acting by itself and for and on behalf of other minority shareholders of Oando, had on March 25, 2021 filed a petition requesting that the Court orders the buyout of their entire shareholding.
In response, Oando filed across-petition, stating its willingness to buy out all the minority shareholders of Oando via a court-ordered Scheme of Arrangement.
By June 2022, the Federal High Court ruled on the petitions granting an order that Oando had 30 days to prepare a Scheme Document for the purchase of all the minority shareholders’ shares in Oando Plc for submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and/or the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
At the time, OODP had a shareholding of 57.37 per cent in Oando PLC which has 12,431412,481 outstanding shares, and the above-mentioned minority shareholders had a 42.63% shareholding.
Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP) owns 7,131,736,673 shares (representing 57.37% of the total number of shares) in the Company. OODP is ultimately
owned 66.67% by the Group Chief Executive and 33.33% by the Deputy Chief Executive of the Company at year-end.
On October 18, 2022, the company informed the Nigeria Exchange that the Federal High Court had extended the timeline given to the company to acquire the shares of the minority shareholders of the company by 90 days.
On March 30, 2023,Oando notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited (JSE Limited) that its core shareholder, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited has offered to acquire the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando.
The Company said it will be subsequently delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.
According to corporate action notification published on the Nigerian Exchange, “OANDO Plc Shareholder shall be entitled to receive the sum of N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for every ordinary share held by the qualified Scheme Shareholders at the Effective Date of the Scheme.”
Some shareholders have expressed concerns over Oando’s plan to delist from the capital market and acquire the shares of minority shareholders.
In recent media reports, Olowolafe, a shareholder was quoted as saying, “Although it is not favourable to us, during the EGM, we can talk to them to increase the price. There will be bargaining between the minority shareholders and the owners in order for us not to be cheated by the company.”
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur