A Belize-focused oil exploration firm looks set to narrowly avoid the fate of having a 76-year-old B&B owner from Malvern unwittingly installed as its majority owner, after a botched trade by her son saw her take nearly 50 per cent of the firm.
New World Oil suffered a major headache after the B&B owner’s son accidently purchased 48.8 per cent of the firm in her name – instead of 10 per cent as planned – after jumping the gun on a share issue.
Yesterday it was announced the B&B owner’s holdings had been cut to 36 per cent – diminishing the chances of her being forced to bid for the remainder of the oil firm.
Takeover panel rules can force investors owning at least 30 per cent of a company to make a formal takeover offer. People close to the company expressed severe frustration with the actions of the investor yesterday, saying it distracted from the company’s strategic aims.
An official statement from the firm said: “Through no fault of its own, there has been subsequent confusion regarding the share register.”
As the shares were purchased under the B&B owner’s name, the 76-year-old hospitality owner was warned by the takeover panel that she may have to make an offer for the remainder of the shares.