Afren share price timeline: What went wrong?

Oil producer Afren has had a torrid year (Source: Getty)
A torrid year for oil producer Afren came to a bitter end today when it called in the administrators, having failed to agree a new funding deal with lenders.
The London-listed company - which was unceremoniously turfed out of the FTSE 250 earlier this year - is one of the first casualties of oil prices, which have plummeted to below $50 per barrel this year, and are expected to fall even lower.
But it's not just oil prices that hit Afren - a crisis in its boardroom meant when the storm hit, it was focused elsewhere.

Here's a run down of the one-time stock market darling's fall from grace...

  • 31 July 2014: Afren suspends chief executive Osman Shahenshah, and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah, after a review by law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher found evidence they had received "unauthorised payments". 
  • 28 August: Two associate directors, Iain Wright and Galib Virani, are suspended over allegedly receiving payments "linked to the payments to Shahenshah and Ullah"
  • 29 August: Shares crumble after the company's results show interim operating profit has nearly halved and slash its full-year production forecast by 20 per cent. The company also reveals it's considering looking into recouping cash from the suspended execs.
  • 14 October: Afren fires Shahenshah and Ullah, as well as two other associate directors, for gross misconduct and accepting unauthorised payments.
  • 30 October: Afren's share price plunges further after a disappointing interim statement spooks investors. In the statement it says that, following the conclusion of an investigation into unauthorised payments, the company is evaluating whether it will need to re-state historical financial information.
  • 22 December: Afren reveals it has received a preliminary takeover offer from Nigerian rival Seplat, with the latter having until 19 January to make a formal offer
  • 1 January 2015: Afren says it's successfully secured a cash payment of $17.1m (£11.2m) from former execs Shahenshah and Ullah "in relation to payments made to them that were not authorised by the board"
  • 12 January: Shares dive after it reveals it's likely to have to cut previous reserve estimates on its Barda Rash oil field in Kurdistan.
  • 21 January: Seplat wins an extension to its takeover offer deadline. Encouraged by falling oil prices, the company is said to be on the hunt for acquisitions in Nigeria.
  • 27 January: Afren's share price crashes 72 per cent following revelations of a funding crisis, with its management saying it needs a $200m (£132m) cash injection.
  • 30 January: Seplat wins yet another extension of its offer deadline.
  • 13 February: Afren ends talks with Seplat after the company failed to make an offer that was "satisfactory to all relevant stakeholders in the company, including the indicated value being significantly below the aggregate value of the debt of the company".
  • 1 March: Fosun, which recently snapped up Club Med, is said to be interested in buying Afren. The Chinese firm has backed a $500m cash deal to take a majority stake led by the Afren co-founder Bert Cooper, the Sunday Times reports.
  • 2 March: Afren's share price jumps on the back of Fosun speculation and new the company has obtained another deferral of a $50m (£33m) amortisation on its $300m Ebok debt facility.
  • 4 March: Afren's share price comes under pressure again after it admits it is facing default on $15m (£9.7m) of interest payments due 1 February, and warns restructuring could "substantially dilute the interests of the company’s current shareholders".

    It is also reveals the firm as slipped out of the FTSE 250 as part of the index's quarterly review
  • 13 March: Shares in Afren fall again after the company says it has hashed out a rescue plan with its lenders. Crucially, the plan leaves current shareholders owning just 11 per cent of the company, sparking a three-day sell-off
  • 23 March: Afren informs the Serious Fraud Office of concerns over expenses payments that came to light as a result of the review by law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. It says the concerns are "regarding the hire of an individual within its operations in 2012 and the payment of certain travel and accommodation expenses connected to Afren's activities".
  • 7 April: Afren appoints Alan Linn as chief executive after the company completes a $300m (£202m) funding deal with its lenders.

    A chartered chemical engineer, he has spent over 30 years working for international oil and gas companies. He previously spent seven years at Australian producer Roc Oil, most recently as chief executive. Before that, Linn worked at Exxon as well as at Cairn Energy and Tullow Oil.
  • 1 May: Afren says it has secured $255m (£167m) from its bondholders and is in talks for a wider recapitalisation plan to be completed by the end of July.

    Its full-year results it also reveals a pre-tax loss from continuing operations of $1.95bn (£128bn) for 2014, compared with a profit of $140m a year earlier. Revenues also fall 42.3 per cent to $946m.
  • 11 May: Afren admitts it is likely to miss a $12.8m (£8.3m) interest payment, resulting in a formal default on bonds due for repayment in 2019.
  • 18 May: Afren announces directors Peter Bingham and John St John will resign effective from the close of the company's annual general meeting on 25 June.
  • 10 June: Afren admitted that it would miss another 11.9m (£7.7m) interest payment on its 2020 bonds, which had been due that day.
  • 22 June: Afren sets up a microsite to gain support from shareholders for its controversial refinancing of its debt in March. The company said it was confident it would be able to push on under the new terms, and build a stronger foundation for the future.
  • 23 June: Afren shares shoot up - although no one is sure why. Some speculate that investors are buying shares in order to block a proposal which could significantly dilute shareholder value - while others joke that perhaps Rob Terry had taken a stake.
  • 25 June: The company's entire board, including chairman Egbert Imomoh, says it will step down after the AGM 
  • 15 July: Afren's shares are suspended at its request. It later explains an ongoing business review has shown near-term production will be "materially lower" than the estimates released alongside the proposed restructuring on 13 March.
  • 19 July: In a sign of things to come, the Luxembourg bourse announces it's suspended trading of Afren’s bonds as the company heads towards default.
  • 31 July: The sorry saga comes to a bitter end after the company calls in the administrators, having been unable to agree a new funding deal with its lenders.

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