IOX received a notification on 19 March 2013 that Eksportconsult is considering filing a lawsuit against IOX.
The factual basis for the lawsuit appears to be that the board of IOX chose to complete the USD 35 000 000 equity issue through a private placement instead of entering into negotiations for the sale of Interoil Colombia and Interoil Peru based on indicative offers that IOX had received on 12 March 2013 from two parties acting in concert. Eksportconsult alleges that a sale would have given a better financial result for the original shareholders than the completion of the private placement.
The offer to acquire Interoil Peru was made by a Swiss company, with undisclosed shareholders. The company was represented by the current General Manager of Interoil Peru, Jaime Mur Campoverde and the offer was presented to IOX by Mårten Rød.
The indicative offers received were not firm and subject to several conditions, including due diligence. None of the offers would enable IOX to meet its USD 10 000 000 payment obligation under the bond loan that was due on the 14 March 2013. Pursuing these offers would therefore require IOX to complete an equity issue of USD 10 000 000, in order to avoid a default on the bond loan and insolvency.
None of the largest shareholders of IOX, including Eksportconsult, was willing to subscribe in such an equity issue and this was therefore not a viable option for IOX.
Eksportconsult and the bidders were informed of what would be required with respect to price, firmness of the offers, deal certainty and funding of the short term bond payment, in order for IOX to be able to cancel the private placement. The bidders were not willing to meet these criteria. In the opinion of the board of IOX, they had no other alternative then to complete the USD 35 000 000 equity issue if a default on the bond was to be avoided.
IOX strongly rejects that there is any basis for the claims notified by Ekportconsult.
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For more information please contact:
Chair of the Board
Mob: +47 908 66 856
Thomas J. Fjell
Mob: +47 958 15 300
***************************InterOil Exploration & Production ASA is a Norwegian based exploration and production company - listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange - with focus on Latin-America. The company is operator of several production and exploration assets in Peru and Colombia. InterOil currently employs approximately 280 people and is headquartered in Oslo.