Shareholders seek removal of PetroNeft directors

Natlata Partners call for egm after rejection of financing proposal

PetroNeft chairman David Golder at the company’s agm last year. Photograph: Eric Luke/Irish Times

PetroNeft chairman David Golder at the company’s agm last year. Photograph: Eric Luke/Irish Times


Irish exploration company PetroNeft has been called upon to convene an extraordinary general meeting (egm) to discuss the removal of the majority of its board.

The request comes from Natlata Partners, a shareholder with more than 10 per cent stock in PetroNeft.

Natlata had previously made a financing proposal that was rejected by the board after it was deemed to not be in the interests of most shareholders.

The resolution calls for the replacement of Dennis Francis, David Sanders, Paul Dowling, David Golder and Vakha Sobraliev as directors of PetroNeft.

A number of additional resolutions that would direct the board to undertake certain due diligence, consider refinancing proposals and to require any transaction in relation to Licence 61 to be subject to shareholder approval, have also been proposed.

The company has been in discussions with an unnamed international oil and gas company on both the re-financing and “planned farmout” of its licence 61 area in Tomsk Oblas, Siberia for some time. The proposed deal is structured to enable PetroNeft to repay all of its debts, have cash for working capital purposes and significant funds available to invest directly in Licence 61 over the coming years.

PetroNeft said it expects this deal to be finalised in the coming weeks.

The board said it was considering the proposal from Natlata but added that if an egm was to be called it would recommend that shareholders vote against the resolutions.

The company yesterday announced the completion of a $6.7 million share placing. It said it has also agreed an additional $1.5 million debt drawdown with Arawak Energy. The proceeds of the placing and increase in the Arawak loan are to be used for the purchase and delivery of supplies and equipment, working capital and the payment of $2.5 million to Macquarie.