About 50,000 direct and indirect jobs are being threatened following the continued conflict between LADOL Group and Samsung Heavy Industries.The two firms are currently in dispute over issues bordering on ownership of SHI MCI FZE (the integration and fabrication yard in LADOL Free Zone), the existing sublease arrangement and SHI’s operating licence renewal.
On September 5, 2018 LADOL issued proceedings at the Federal High Court, Lagos Division seeking to set aside a 2014 settlement agreement it had entered into with Samsung for fraud and misrepresentations and to restore the parties to their pre-2014 settlement ownership of SHI MCI FZE, namely 80 per cent (LADOL) and 20 per cent (Samsung).
It is also seeking a rectification of the share register of SHI MCI FZE to reflect the 80:20 ownership structure. LADOL has also issued an interlocutory application for injunctions to restrain Samsung from parading itself as owner of 70 per cent of SHI MCI FZE and from selling or otherwise dealing with or disposing of the shares in SHI MCI FZE pending the hearing and determination of the substantive proceedings.
Samsung had also taken its dispute with the LADOL Group to the Federal High Court and to the court of public opinion. It has already filed a notice of contempt proceedings, which it issued against certain directors of the LADOL Zone Management, saying its operating licence was not renewed and consequently it is unable to access the LADOL Free Zone.
The publication of the contempt proceedings followed a publication to the effect that the court had restrained LADOL Zone Management from “violating SHI MCI FZE’s operating licence.”
LADOL, in a document obtained by The Guardian, said it was willing to settle with Samsung Heavy Industries over ownership of the estimated $300 million integration and fabrication yard at the Lagos Free Trade Zone, among other prevailing issues, only on its (LADOL) terms.Meanwhile, Counsel to LADOL and LADOL Free Zone management, Prof. Fidelis Oditah, said: “There were three aspects to the dispute between Samsung and LADOL.”adding that: The first is the ownership of SHI MCI FZE, which is a joint venture between LADOL and Samsung formed to perform the Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading EPC contract between Samsung and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited.
“The second aspect is SHI MCI FZE’s sublease agreement with a LADOL affiliate, Global Resources Management Limited (GRML). The third is SHI MCI’s operating licence as a free zone enterprise within the LADOL free zone.”“We are very happy to work with SHI, but not on its own terms but ours.
“To correct a few errors and bring all up to date with what is happening in this regard, first, there is no court order restraining the Free Zone Management from doing anything. The temporary restraining order granted by the court on July 31, 2018 was discharged by the court on August 14 2018.
“Secondly, even if, contrary to the true position, there is such a restraining order, LADOL Zone Management has not violated SHI MCI FZE’s operating licence.”