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Afren FD to leave as interest payment ducked in restructure

AFREN group finance director Darra Comyn is stepping down from the role once the company completes a financial restructuring.

Comyn has served with the group since 2009 after joining from ITE, and his move comes as a David Thomas is named as COO.

The moves come days after Afren said it expects to be able to avoid an $11.9m (£7.7m) interest payment due on its 2020 bonds – as part of terms it has agreed with creditors. The interest was due on 9 June with a further 30-day grace period. A preliminary interim funding and refinancing structure was agreed in March.

Comyn will not be proposed for re-election at the annual general meeting, but will remain at the company until the firm finds a new chief financial officer and restructuring is complete.

Egbert Imomoh, executive chairman of Afren, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Darra for his contribution to Afren, particularly during the recent difficult times.”

On the appointment of David Thomas, chief executive officer Alan Linn commented: “I am looking forward to working closely with Dave and the rest of the Afren team as we reshape the Afren business, focusing primarily upon delivering production and development results in Nigeria, and re-balancing our exploration portfolio.”

Afren’s chief executive and its COO, Osman Shahenshah and Shahid Ullah respectively, were sacked last October and the company pursued them for $17m it alleged was paid secretly to the pair. Details of the payments came to light following a report by KPMG and lawyers Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. A settlement between the parties was agreed in in December, with the figure repaid to Afren.

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