Tuesday 16 January 2018 ShareProphets: The one stop source for breaking news, expert analysis, and podcasts on fast-moving AIM and LSE listed shares

Worthington Group - it's not all bad news

By Cynical Bear | Sunday 17 January 2016

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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?"

Doug: "Shortly."

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. 

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  1. Many people have multiple Directorships. Any evidence he’s stepped down from his leadership role heading the expanding Worthington energy portfolio? (sorry, I am really trying to say that with a straight face!).

    Perhaps NBR is going to be one of the ten deals in the WRN pipeline, and so whilst suspended they’ve parachuted Oleg in to NBR to get it going and to act as WRN’s representative on the board? NBR then spearheads WRN’s expansion into Congolese oil and gas plays, and so on to eventually dominate the African subcontinent.


  2. What ever happened to “mate before dates”

  3. Cynical Bear

    @Britta – not sure you really believe that but I accept it is a possibility.

    Appreciate you taking the time to being the first to comment on my posts and really like the use of “Simples” – bIt annoyed I didn’t use that myself.

  4. Duck and Dive

    Funny stuff, CB. Keep it up.

  5. No of course I don’t believe it, WRN is comedic genius these days!

    I shall be gutted if they delisted and disappear for that reason.

  6. turbograndad

    WRN, was a spoof from the word go, with all the usual suspects, and bogus anecdotal economics, it is truly a very good example of a classic POS, and should eventually have a full investigation, if the chocolate teapots are up to it.
    Not sufficient for it to be just delisted for failures, needs a proper investigation.
    Fortunately I saw this one coming, but others for various reasons didn’t, usually the euphemistically called BB morons, or the less experienced, or just plain feeble minded, but either way, shysters like these are all too common, and why the sheriff will always be in work with this system we have.

  7. An interesting point is whether WRN could have got away with this if it was listed on AIM, as opposed to the main market. The BBs ramped on about it being on the main market and not AIM (as if this automatically conferred some degree of quality to it), but in reality that main market listing meant there was no NOMAD to be obliged to sign off Dougie Ten Deals’ rampathon RNSes.

    OK I appreciate that there is some variability in NOMAD quality (lol) but even so one would have thought almost all of them would have blanched at some of WRN’s RNSes (notable the $2bn deal and £5/share NPV twaddle).

  8. Cynical Bear

    @ Britta – pretty sure that they would have been Nomadless and delisted many months ago.

    It is slightly perverse that the standard listing of the main market is significantly less regulated than AIM and being used by many businesses as a cheaper and less problematic route – Monday’s forthcoming listing of Falcon Acquisitions being an obvious example

  9. I keep morphing Falcon Acquisitions with Silver Falcon (SILF), thus getting FILF

    Another you could add to the list of shells on the less regulated main market is Senterra (SEN). Likewise ramped to high heaven.

  10. I wonder how much Whyte, Earley, Biggar and Ware pish themselves laughing at the couple of dozen resident arseholes on the LSE who constantly trumpet this POS.Their reward is a loss of their investments. No doubt the gains already achieved and realised shall be used to scam these self same muppets again the future.

    These LSE asreholes are a godsend to these scum sucking lowlife creeps

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