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Zenon Petroleum: We did not publish winding-up suit against Prudent Energy

Zenon Petroleum: We did not publish winding-up suit against Prudent Energy
August 10
07:55 2022

Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited says it did not publish details of winding-up petitions instituted against Prudent Energy and Services Limited. 

 The company made the clarification in response to a press release by Prudent Energy and media reports which emanated on Monday.

In a statement, Prudent Energy had accused Zenon of publicising the said petition “when no court has authorised the advertisement of such petition”, adding that it is illegal and prejudicial. 

Responding to the allegation, Zenon swiftly denied the allegation and advised the public to disregard the statement from Prudent Energy.

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“It is useful to underscore that the petition is a matter before the Federal High Court and is not to be publicised by the rules of court” by both parties,” the company said.

Zenon said it would not “engage Prudent Energy in any exchange on the pages of the newspapers”. 

It added that it is left to the high court or the arbitral tribunal to “determine whether the deferred payment was to meet contingent payment or otherwise as asserted by Prudent Energy”. 

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“The subject matter of the winding-up petition is not before any arbitration panel but before the Federal High Court, which is the Court constitutionally empowered to wind up companies unable to pay their debts,” the management said. 

“Accordingly, we advise all stakeholders and the general public to disregard the press release issued by Prudent Energy.”

The company added that its application to advertise the winding–up petition is yet to be heard by the Federal High Court.

It also said Prudent Energy has admitted owing Zenon and in fact “paid the first instalment of the debt during the arbitration Prudent Energy refers to in its public notice”. 

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WE ARE CONTESTING THE PETITION – PRUDENT ENERGY

In an earlier statement, Prudent confirmed the court petition, adding that arbitration proceedings would determine the amount due to Zenon.

The company said the arbitrators have indicated that a decision will be made in August 2022, denying claims by Zenon that part of its deferred consideration became due on June 18, 2022.

“Zenon presented a winding-up petition against PESL to enforce the corporate guarantee even though the arbitral award that will provide clarity on what may be due to either side is still pending. This petition has neither been argued nor ruled on by the court before, which it has been presented,” the statement had said. 

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“To Zenon’s knowledge, the subject of Zenon’s Winding-Up petition and its entitlement to any sum from PESL is vigorously contested by PESL through a High Court suit commenced by PESL against Zenon on 21 July 2022 to prevent Zenon from frivolously enforcing the corporate guarantee until the arbitral award has been delivered.

“Zenon is aware that the subject of its petition will be resolved by arbitration very soon. It has nevertheless commenced winding-up proceedings against PESL, a move that seeks to pre-empt the imminent decision of the arbitrators.”

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On Monday, reports emerged that Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited had filed a winding-up suit against Prudent Energy and Services — its parent company — over unpaid $6 million debt.

Zenon Petroleum, in a suit at a federal high court, with No. FHC/L/CP/1450/2022 alleged that the $6 million was part of deferred consideration.

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It added that Zenon has refused to fulfil the obligation despite several demand letters.

Ardova Plc, a subsidiary of Prudent Energyhad said that it was not a party to the suit.

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