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Tom Winnifrith's piece on Friday reminded me of a rare good news story to come out of Worthington Group (WRN) over the festive period and it relates to Oleg-Serguei Schkoda.
Many of you may recall that he was appointed as Head of Oil and Gas at Worthington on 6 October 2014 amidst a flurry of activity and RNS's at that time, just a few days before the suspension.
I always felt a bit sorry for Oleg (my sorrow exacerbated by the fact that I immediately think of him as the TV meerkat) and I imagine the following conversation over time with CEO Doug Ware:
Oleg: "Doug, bit frustrating that we've been suspended, can I still go and do that big oil deal in Africa? "
Doug: "I'm afraid we have to wait until our stock is trading again as our main asset is our London-traded paper, but that will happen soon enough. I'm just going to get a prospectus drawn up and we'll be up and running in no time"
A few months later.
Oleg: "Can I do it now, Doug?"
Doug: "Well the prospectus route isn't going to work for us I'm afraid, Oleg, but not to worry, someone wants to take us over and we can get listed via that route."
A few more months later.
Oleg: "Ok, but this takeover process has now been going on for over eight months, what's holding us up?"
Doug: "Just a few technicalities, Oleg, but it's all pretty straightforward. We just have to wait for a related third party to finance a bust Danish company with mining interests in Greenland that will then, for reasons unknown, acquire us presumably due to the attractive nature of our worthless legal case and the ongoing pension deficit issue."
Oleg: "Oh...I see, makes sense I guess. So when is it going to complete?"
He obviously got fed up waiting as he's moved on and landed himself a decent looking role. He was announced as a Director-elect of Namibian Resources (NBR) on 21 December 2015, although he surprisingly missed Worthington off his CV. He's also called himself Oleg Schkoda rather than Oleg-Serguei Schkoda, but I'm pretty sure that it's the same guy as otherwise life must have been very confusing at Baker Hughes, GE and Schlumberger with two men with almost identical names working in the oil and gas departments.
Ironically, the position is subject to some delay as he will only join the board as and when Namibian Resources completes the acquisition of an oil asset in Congo but the long stop date for the acquisition is mid-March 2016 so would trust that but he won't be waiting in limbo for 15 months this time around.
It does beg the question of course as to who is now going to do the 10 deals in theWorthington pipeline, as the conglomerate of the 21st century makes it way towards a NAV of $2 billion, although doubt that question really matters in practice.
Never miss a story.
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