LEKOIL, the oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa, has announced the resignations of Mr. Michael Ajukwu and Mr. Mark Simmonds as Non-Executive Directors.
Mr. Ajukwu, who had assumed the position of Chairman of Board in January 2021, has decided to step down from this role and from the Board with effect from 21 April 2021. Mr. Anthony Hawkins will act as interim Chairman until a new Chairman is appointed by the board of directors.
Mr. Simmonds, who had previously noted his intention to stand down from the Board at the Company’s next Annual General Meeting, has decided to bring forward his resignation and has stepped down with effect from 21 April 2021.
In announcing his resignation, Mr. Ajukwu noted that the existing governance regime applying to the Company and its group, in place since the admission of the Company to AIM, has been reviewed with a view to enhancing governance and oversight. In his view, this was not currently possible due to a fundamental misalignment of objectives amongst the shareholders of Lekoil Nigeria Limited. He believes that the Board will be well served by the new directors with the skills required to address these issues.
Commenting on the Board changes, the Company’s Interim Chairman, Mr. Anthony Hawkins, said:
“I’d like to thank both Mr. Ajukwu and Mr. Simmonds for their valuable contributions to the workings of the Board in the last year, each of them having served as Chairman of the Company during a period of change and in, at times, some difficult circumstances. The Board welcomes two new non-executive directors, Mr. Tindall and Dr. D’Attanasio, whom I believe will bring with them the necessary skills and experience to address the issues identified by Mr. Ajukwu and to assist the Board in taking the steps necessary to create value for the Company’s stakeholders.”
Mr. Tindall, an American qualified lawyer of forty (40) years’ experience, is the Senior Counsel at Hardwick Law Firm where he assists in the strategy and execution of the management and growth of the largest minority owned law firm in the United States of America. Mr. Tindall has represented major investment banks in the United States as underwriter’s counsel as well as represented partners and governments in their investments in a variety of private equity funds. He has significant experience within the area of project and public finance which includes developing funds, joint ventures and infrastructure projects throughout the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean. Mr. Tindall is a member of the Bar of the States of New York and Connecticut and is currently an advisory board member for Attucks Asset Management.
Dr. D’Attanasio, brings over twenty (20) years’ experience in international capital markets and fund management. He holds a PhD from the University of Parma in Italy in theoretical and mathematical physics. He is currently the Chief Investment Officer at Hadron Capital (Cayman), an investment management firm he co-founded which is based in the Cayman Islands. Prior to co-founding Hadron Capital, Dr. D’Attanasio served as a Managing Director at the Royal Bank of Canada in London. Dr. D’Attanasio is the co-founder of Circklo Limited, an online community of professionals active in transforming their enterprises into sustainable businesses. He is also currently a non-executive director in publicly listed Argo Blockchain PLC. Funds managed by Hadron Capital are a shareholder of the Company and as such will not be an independent non-executive director.
The Company notes that the Company’s nominated adviser is undertaking its normal due diligence exercise on the new Board appointees which will be completed as soon as practicable. Information required under Schedule Two, paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies will be notified in due course.
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