25 June 2015, News Wires – Five directors, including the chairman, of Afren are quitting the troubled UK independent, which has just recently named a host of new top executives.
Non-executive directors Toby Hayward, Patrick Obath, Sheree Bryant and Iain McLaren have also stood down as of Thursday.
The news sent shares climbing more than 12% before 9am on Thursday.
“The composition of the various board committees will be reviewed shortly. The process of recruitment to strengthen the board of Afren further is ongoing,” the London-listed company said on Thursday.
“In the meantime, the departing directors will be available to contribute to a smooth handover process.”
Earlier this month, Darra Comyn quit as finance director, while David Thomas was named as chief operating officer, following the dismissal of Shahid Ullah in October along with then chief executive Osman Shahenshah as both were being investigated over unauthorised payments. Thomas is now joining the board as an executive director.
Afren settled with both Ullah and Shahenshah at the start of the year and is undergoing a capital restructuring after uncovering malpractice by the former executives.
In April it reported a full-year loss of $1.65 billion as it booked impairments in Iraqi Kurdistan and West Africa, while the first three months of this year also saw it book a loss of $53.1 million.
Afren warned earlier this month that it will most likely default on a loan even as it takes up the option of a grace period for repayment of interest.
The company decided to utilise the 30-day grace period under its 2020 bonds with respect to around $11.9 million of interest that was due on Tuesday.
Afren also said late last month that is revising its further field development plan (FFDP) for the Okoro field off Nigeria as it looks to save on costs amid the oil price slump.