Thursday, 31 July 2014

Afren Non-Shock - Rilwanu Lukman dies and then the stories come out.

Afren has had to suspend its CEO on account of 'unauthroised payments' - this is taking bribes to us more ordinary folk.

Afren Plc is a large listed UK company which was worth about £1.7 billion. On the high risk side though, given that its operational subsidiaries are almost entirely in Nigeria and also in Kurdistan. It makes my old favourite GKP look like a widows and orphans investment by comparison.

The company has a challenging history one of the key founders was Rilwanu Lukman, known for being the Head of OPEC and also Nigerian Oil minister. Suffice to say he followed Dr Subroto of Indonesia into the OPEC job. His reputation is somewhat colourful, a nice edit to Wiki does this no justice. Wikileaks perhaps does a better job.

Poor Mr. Luckman died last week. He only ever had a 3% holding in Afren and brought in Osman Shahenshah to be the front many CEO for the company, likely because they wanted plenty of Western institutions as their investors which would have been difficult with Lukman as the CEO.

With Lukman dying, there are plenty of knives out in Nigeria and so perhaps it should not be that surprising that an internal investigation has quickly revealed payments to Shahenshah and meant that he has been suspended.

It's a murky world in Nigerian oil to say the least!

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