Worldview Calls On Petroceltic To Address Bulgarian Probe Reports

LONDON (Alliance News) - Worldview Capital Management SA on Thursday published an open letter ...

Alliance News 17 September, 2015 | 2:37PM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Worldview Capital Management SA on Thursday published an open letter detailing a report that an investigation is being carried out into Petroceltic PLC in Bulgaria and called on the company to provide answers to its concerns.

Worldview, which has a 29% stake in Petroceltic, has been waging a long-running battle with the company's management team, which has included attempts to oust board members, accusations of corruption levelled at regional managers, and the requisitioning of shareholder meetings.

On Thursday, Worldview cited a report in Bulgarian local media which said the Bulgarian State Prosecutor has confirmed that an ongoing investigation is underway into Petroceltic's Bulgarian subsidiary. The investigation, according to Worldview's letter, regards "alleged related-party payments and possible siphoning of assets away from Petroceltic".

Worldview first raised its concerns earlier this month, and Petroceltic said at the time that it had no knowledge of the investigation.

Worldview said it is again requesting that Petroceltic "openly reveal to shareholders the nature of these investigations". In addition, it has requested the company confirm that the Bulgarian State Prosecutor is "allegedly investigating alleged related-party payments which may have been made by Petroceltic's Egyptian, Luxembourg and Bulgarian subsidiary companies to Optimus Engineering AD, for services that are unclear."

The investor also wants Petroceltic to answer whether the beneficial owners and directors of the companies controlling Optimus are family members of the manager of Petroceltic's Bulgarian subsidiary.

"Furthermore, and in light of this investigation, we request that Petroceltic give clarification to shareholders whether, as has been publicly alleged, members of the company's board or management or their related parties may have a beneficial interest in Petroceltic's Bulgarian production via an entity called the Osiris Trust or otherwise," Worldview said.

Worldview said that as the largest shareholder in the company, and after its previous efforts to call on Petroceltic to improve its governance, "we are disappointed to again raise issues that, if substantiated, evidence a culture of inappropriate and failed governance."

Worldview's letter comes a day after Petroceltic initiated legal proceedings against the investor in Ireland, seeking an injunction to prevent Worldview from proceeding with its "unlawful attempt" to hold an extraordinary general meeting.

Petroceltic shares were down 0.4% to 63.00 pence on Thursday afternoon. The stock has traded between 42.75p and 224.00p in the past 52 weeks.

By Sam Unsted; samunsted@alliancenews.com; @SamUAtAlliance

Copyright 2015 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Petroceltic International PLC
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