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Trading in shares of Aim-quoted Gold Oil were suspended on Friday after a row between management and rebel shareholders left the company with just one board member.
John Bell, chairman and interim chief executive of the South American explorer and one of its biggest shareholders, was ousted from the board at Gold Oil’s annual meeting on Friday, along with exploration director Ian Reid and non-executive directors John Charlton and Guy Cowan.
However, two candidates proposed by rebel shareholders including Mark Pritchard and Ben Anderson did not win enough support and were not appointed directors, leaving just Julian Garcia, the group’s country director in Colombia, on the board.
“This is not considered appropriate for the company’s current needs as a company admitted to trading on a UK public market,” said Gold Oil after the meeting. “Accordingly, at the request of the company, trading in the ordinary shares in the capital of the company has been suspended pending the appointment of additional board members.”
Gold Oil said the combined stake in the company held by the rebel shareholders was thought to be at least 20 per cent. He added that the company, which is looking for oil in Colombia, Peru and Cuba, had lined up a farm-out partner for one of its projects in Peru, but this could not proceed following the ousting of the management.
Before Gold Oil’s shares were suspended, they fell 8.5 per cent to 2.98p, giving the company a market capitalisation of £28.9m.
The company also said that oil production from its NBM field in Colombia was in line with expectations, but there were delays in the drilling programme at the Azar Block, also in Colombia.