19.6.15

Pacific Rubiales wakes up to O'Hara / Derwick Associates money laundering scam

O'Hara Administration Co., S.A. ("O'Hara") calls upon its fellow minority shareholders of Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. ("Pacific Rubiales") to VOTE AGAINST the special resolution (the "Arrangement Resolution") to approve an arrangement whereby ALFA S.A.B. de C.V. ("ALFA") and Harbour Energy Ltd. ("Harbour") are proposing to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares ("Common Shares") of Pacific Rubiales for C$6.50 per share (the "Proposed Arrangement"). O'Hara believes that the Proposed Arrangement undervalues the Common Shares, is opportunistic given current market volatility, inappropriately incentivizes management at the expense of the minority shareholders and is not in the best interests of the minority shareholders.
You got to give it to these thugs. Boldness isn't something they lack. For here we have, a "group of investors", with no verifiable track record in oil & gas, anywhere on earth, represented by none other than Orlando Alvarado (Derwick Associates CFO), that mere days before Pacific was to announce ALFA's offer just happened to take an interest in Pacific, and in quick succession acquired nearly 20% of its shares. Opportunistic? Nooooo, just take Alvarado's word for it.

Pacific was caught napping, no doubt. It remains to be seen who leaked what, or how did Derwick find out about ALFA's impending announcement. What is unobjectionable is that once it did, Derwick reacted very quickly AND did the utmost to maintain its connection to O'Hara hidden. That is, of course, until I got information from Barbados registrar of companies about IPC Investments, one of the vehicles used by O'Hara and controlled by Alejandro Betancourt, Derwick's CEO. Then another shell controlled by Betancourt popped up in Pacific's shares purchase: Agency Partners, a vehicle used by Betancourt to buy a flat in Miami's Jade Ocean. It was then reported that Volbor Trading, O'Hara Administration, and Telmaven Overseas were three other shells controlled by Betancourt through Alvarado.

Pacific seems to have realised the dangers of allowing itself to be used by Betancourt & co for what amounts to a naked money laundering attempt. It announced some counter actions yesterday:
Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX: PRE) (BVC: PREC) today announced that, after receiving approval from the Independent Committee of the Board of Directors, the Company is filing an application (the "Application") before the Supreme Court of British Columbia (the "Court") in connection with the proposed arrangement involving the Company, ALFA, S.A.B. de C.V. ("ALFA"), Harbour Energy, L.P., Harbour Energy Ltd. ("Harbour Energy") and 1035815 B.C. Ltd. (the "Purchaser"), pursuant to which the Purchaser would acquire all of the outstanding common shares of the Company ("Common Shares") not already owned by ALFA or held by the Company in treasury for cash consideration of C$6.50 per share (the "Arrangement"). The Application is being filed in response to significant concerns raised by Pacific Rubiales shareholders about how members of a group of Shareholders acting jointly and in concert led by O'Hara Administration Co., S.A. ("O'Hara") and Alejandro Betancourt (collectively, the "O'Hara Group") acquired their Common Shares.
In its release, Pacific asks a number of pertinent questions:
  1. Who is O'Hara?
  2. What is their investment track record in oil and gas?
  3. What is their history of corporate governance?
  4. How long have they owned their Common Shares?
  5. What is the O'Hara Group's relationship with Derwick Associates?
  6. Why is their circular lacking disclosure on these material issues? What are they trying to hide?
I feel like I can answer that.
  1. O'Hara is but a vehicle chosen by Alejandro Betancourt and his partners to "diversify", given the irremovable corruption stench that the Derwick brand has.
  2. None. As in non existent. Beyond attempts to flog oil and gas, or concessions in Venezuela, via some corrupt deal with PDVSA, nothing to write home about. Anywhere.
  3. Please refer to the recently leaked 14,000 files related to Derwick Associates dealings with Venezuela and ProEnergy Services, to learn about its "corporate governance".
  4. Indeed, how long, before Pacific made public its negotiation with ALFA? One month?
  5. The O'Hara Group has tried, repeatedly if news reports are to be used as benchmark, to obscure its relation with Derwick Associates. Bloomberg, for instance, first reported that O'Hara's main man, Orlando Alvarado, was "a Caracas-based financial consultant", without mentioning a) that Alvarado was Derwick Associates CFO; b) that IPC Investments was controlled by Betancourt (Derwick's CEO); c) that he represented "private-sector businessmen with no ties to the government" when Derwick's relations with high chavista officials, and bribe payments are a matter of huge interest and official probes in at least two countries. Alvarado hails from ABN Amro. When he left, he founded with a group of colleagues something called White Bridge Capital, where yet another employee of Derwick (Hans Hertell), works. Please note that Derwick Oil and Gas and Betancourt's IPC Investments share Trident Corporate Services as companies' Secretary, as per Barbados register records. But then Alvarado, who may be contacted at oalvardo@derwick.com, has been as recently as April 2015 discussing with Betancourt, Pedro Trebbau (Derwick's no 2), and American lawyers legal matters pertaining to pending lawsuits, issues that a person unrelated to Derwick would not be privy of.
  6. Why indeed? Could it be because they don't want Pacific and its shareholders to realise that this is nothing but an attempt to launder hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from Venezuela?
I sent an email to Alvarado, to ask questions about Derwick's true intentions with Pacific, its associations with Argentinean thugs,  and so on. Let's hope he replies...

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