Shares in Oando, the Nigeria-based oil and gas company, fell more than 9% in Lagos after a TV report that it was being investigated by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission.
On the JSE, where the shares are rarely traded, the price was unmoved at 25c.
Channels TV, a Nigerian broadcaster, reported on Friday that some of the foreign investors in Oando had filed a petition with the SEC relating to Oando’s shareholding structure after it paid $1.65bn to buy the Nigerian oil assets of ConocoPhillips in July 2014.
Oando said it considered the complaint to be "unsubstantiated, misleading and defamatory". However, it did not respond to questions from Business Day on why it had not released a stock exchange announcement about the SEC investigation.
Speculation in Nigerian media was that the complaint related either to misrepresentations in Oando’s financial statements or to the price Oando paid for the assets. It bought the Conoco-Phillips assets when a barrel of Brent crude oil cost more than $100.
According to the notes to the group’s 2014 annual report, Oando converted $929m of debt, part of which was incurred to fund the purchase of the ConocoPhillips assets, into 650.8-million common shares and 325.4-million warrants.
At the end of 2014, Oando had 9.1-billion issued shares, about 2-billion more than at the start of the year.
Oando said it had received a "no objection" approval from the SEC for this increase in issued shares.
At the end of 2014 Oando’s main shareholder, Ocean and Oil Development Partners, held 55.1%. Ocean and Oil is 60%-owned by Delanson Services, trustee for the family of businessman Gabriele Volpi, and 40% by Liberation Management, trustee for the family of Oando’s CEO, Jubril Adewale Tinubu.