DNO International announced that is has has completed the process begun earlier this fall, and previously disclosed in September in connection with its planned merger, to end all related party relationships with its former chairman Berge Gerdt Larsen as these were deemed by the board and management to have no continuing business purpose for DNO.
Several weeks ago, DNO sold its shareholding in, and ended a consulting contract in favour of, a Larsen-related company, Petrolia ASA. Separately, the Company terminated a long-standing retainer of around NOK 4 million per annum with a second Larsen-related company, IOR Ltd, for business development advice.
Additionally, DNO has terminated leasing arrangements involving properties owned by Larsen-related companies and ended payment of legal bills on behalf of Larsen-related companies for certain administrative and court proceedings.
Over the past dozen years, nearly NOK 100 million have been paid by DNO to Larsen-related companies in such consulting fees, leases, administrative services, legal bills and other payments. DNO has previously invoiced and will continue to seek reimbursement for all legal costs incurred by the Company and its shareholders on behalf of Larsen-related companies.
Following decisions taken by the board last summer, DNO has also terminated its involvement in three cases pursued by Norwegian tax and police authorities against Larsen and Larsen-related companies and the Company has agreed to cooperate fully with the authorities in their investigations in the interest of transparency and best corporate practice.
In a further step towards enhanced governance, DNO has recruited for the first time an in-house general counsel, Bjørn Dale, to provide legal oversight across the Company’s activities. Mr. Dale joined DNO in this new role in September from his position as General Counsel, Nordic Financial Services Group, and will continue as Lecturer, Examiner and Supervisor, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.