Hascol Petroleum Limited, in a bid to reset the company image after the recent scandal of fake purchase orders, has hired a team of global professional services providers, Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP, to prepare a restructuring plan.
The move comes as part of efforts to overcome financial issues as it is engaged in tracing back possible false purchase entries in its balance sheet.
A statement issued by the company said, “In order to solve its current financial issues, Hascol is in discussions with its banking partners on a financial restructuring plan for the company, having appointed a team of renowned restructuring experts from Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP to assist us.”
“Hascol is committed to return to its successful trajectory in the near future,” the statement added.
Hascol has been under lots of criticism lately, and a smear campaign is also doing rounds on social media. The causes for the company’s recent downfall came in the form of Hascol missing Sukuk payment in January, followed by the company’s board admitting to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that the company had possibly uncovered some fake purchase orders against fixed assets.
Furthermore, on 28 June, the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL) had excluded Hascol Petroleum from the list of eligible securities that the PSX had placed the company into the defaulter segment.
The NCCPL informed the PSX in a notice on Monday that Hascol Petroleum Limited has been excluded from the list of SLB Eligible Securities, MF Eligible Securities, and MTS Eligible Securities with immediate effect from Monday, 28 June 2021.
Even after all this, Hascol found itself at the receiving end of a defamation campaign on Whatsapp, according to which the company had allegedly been involved in the misleading reporting of import figures for oil. On Tuesday, 6 July, the company issued a detailed statement clarifying its position against these claims.
Hascol issued a detailed clarification over these allegations, saying, “Unfortunately, some people have associated that with oil imports, which is entirely baseless as all oil imports are managed through a well-structured and duly regulated process. These allegations are therefore spurious and Hascol reserves its legal rights to act against the sources of this disinformation.”
In 2019, Hascol suffered significant losses, primarily due to foreign exchange and interest rate risk and extreme volatility in international oil prices. These issues affected the entire oil industry in Pakistan, as well as on a global level.
Resultantly, in 2020, Hascol appointed a new CEO and chairman to turn around the company and steer it back to profitability.
Alan Ducan, a former UK minister, was brought in as chairman, bringing his considerable skills and experience from the oil industry. Adeeb Ahmad, corporate investment and restructuring professional, was appointed CEO of Hascol.