Lekan Akinyanmi remains in full control of Lekoil Nigeria Limited (Lekoil Nigeria), the company officially recognized by the Nigerian government as custodian of some strategic oil and gas assets.
This is in stark contrast to news of his removal as Chief Executive Officer of Lekoil Limited (Lekoil Cayman) in an announcement by the company on June 2, 2021.
Sources disclosed that Lekoil Nigeria Limited, which announced Mr. Akinyanmi as its CEO in January 2021 is a separate entity from Lekoil Cayman.
South Africa’s Metallon Corporation, which is the company behind the issues at Lekoil Cayman is a 15% shareholder in Lekoil Cayman, which in turn is a minority shareholder in Lekoil Nigeria.
Lekoil Nigeria is the custodian of oil and gas assets associated with the Lekoil brand and Mr. Akinyanmi remains in charge of the company.
Sources close to the matter indicate that all the assets, loans, goodwill and agreements that made Lekoil what it is today were acquired under the leadership of Mr. Akinyanmi who founded the company in 2010.
The Admission Document with which the company was listed on AIM which is available on the Lekoil website indicate that Lekoil Cayman does not hold a majority stake in Lekoil Nigeria. It holds 40 percent of the issued share capital of Lekoil Nigeria with other Nigerian shareholders holding the remaining 60 per cent. Therefore, Lekoil Cayman’s Board in a hostile takeover attempt cannot unanimously make rules or dictate terms to Lekoil Nigeria.
Metallon Corporation which is a South African firm took advantage of a drop in Lekoil Cayman stock price in 2020 to amass 15 percent of its shares in a ruse to takeover Lekoil Cayman with the expectation of gaining control of Lekoil Nigeria, but clearly did not do their homework. They apparently did not factor in the agreement relationship between Lekoil Nigeria and Lekoil Cayman an industry analyst opined. “What was Metallon thinking?” an analyst in the sector asked in disbelief.
A look into how Metallon dismissed the fine print in the Shareholders Agreement and protections in place for Lekoil Nigeria is unbelievable,” another source noted. “Lekoil Cayman’s attempts to undermine the Shareholders Agreement is just incredible,” the source noted.
Lekoil Nigeria was established before Lekoil Cayman, and Mr. Akinyanmi was already the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company. It must be noted that the leadership of Mr. Akinyanmi is the basis for all the assets, loans, goodwill and agreements that were signed over the years.
There are indications that prior to the Extra-ordinary General Meeting of Lekoil Cayman on January 8, 2021, the issues were clearly stated to Metallon’s representatives but apparently they omitted this little detail from the shareholders and others whom they conscripted to help with the take-over attempt.
Olalekan has over 20 years experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently with Alliance Bernstein L.P. in New York where he spent six years as a research analyst and portfolio manager covering Energy and Materials worldwide.
Lekan has held senior positions at UBS Investment Research, 3Fold Ventures and Encabler Inc, a Californian headquartered technology company specialising in interactive television software, which he founded in June 2000, as well as successfully negotiating and raising the first round of equity capital for the Company’s operations.