16 June 2015, Lagos – United Kingdom-listed Afren Plc has announced plan to utilise a 30-day grace period under its 2020 bonds with respect to approximately $11.9 million of interest due on June 9, 2015 pending the completion of the recapitalisation process.
The West Africa-focused company has also announced the resignation of Executive Director and appointment of Chief Operating Officer.
In a statement by the company, the Board of Directors anticipates that, given the terms of the consensual restructuring that was agreed with its principal creditors, the company would not pay such interest at the expiry of this grace period.
“While such non-payment will result in a default under the 2020 Notes, this will not result in an immediate obligation to repay such 2020 Notes or any cross-default under its 2016 Notes or 2019 Notes or its other debt facilities. The company has received assurances from the ad -hoc committee (which members hold in aggregate approximately 39 per cent of the principal face amount of the 2020 Notes and approximately 33 per cent of the total principal face amount of the 2016 Notes, 2019 Notes and 2020 Notes) that the committee has no current intention to take enforcement action with respect to the 2020 Notes held by its members as a result of any failure to make payment of interest due under the 2020 Notes,” the statement explained.
According to the statement, the company also expects to be able to provide further information regarding the terms of the recapitalisation, including a circular to shareholders regarding the terms of the proposed open offer of new shares, within this week.
In a related development, Afren has announced that that Mr. Darra Comyn had today given notice of his resignation as Group Finance Director of Afren.
The company also announced that David Thomas has been appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer of Afren with effect from June 8, 2015.
Following his resignation, Darra will not be proposed for re-election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.
The statement added that the company would now commence a search for a Chief Financial Officer.
“Darra has agreed to remain as an employee of the company until the re-structuring closes and while the search for his successor continues. It is expected that Darra will leave the Company in the summer.
Having joined the Board in March 2010, Darra has served as a Director of Afren for over five years,” said the statement.
Commenting on the resignation, the Executive Chairman of Afren, Mr. Egbert Imomoh, said “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Darra for his contributions to Afren, particularly during the recent difficult times. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Thomas, the new COO, has over 35 years’ executive and operational experience in the international oil and gas industry covering operations, exploration, business development and corporate transactions with both large and small companies.
Prior to joining Afren, Dave was Chief Operating Officer with Petroceltic International from 2012 to 2015. His previous roles have included CEO for Melrose Resources from 2007 to 2012; President and COO for Centurion Energy; Regional VP in West Africa; Russia/Asia/ Australia and North Sea for Eni SpA; and Group General Manager, Operations and MD Pakistan for LASMO plc. Dave started his career as a Reservoir Engineer with Conoco UK before moving to increasingly senior positions including Chief Reservoir Engineer and Asset Management roles. Dave has a BSc in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University.
Commenting on the appointment of Thomas, the Chief Executive Officer of Afren, Alan Linn, said
“I am delighted to welcome Dave into Afren’s senior executive team. He brings with him a wealth of operational experience and an outstanding reputation for delivering results.”
“I am looking forward to working closely with Dave and the rest of the Afren team as we reshape the Afren business, focusing primarily upon delivering production and development results in Nigeria, and re-balancing our exploration portfolio,” Linn added.
– This Day