Nik Hamdan steps down as Barakah president-cum-CEO to pave way for restructuring

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 15): Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd’s group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Nik Hamdan Daud has resigned today, and a source familiar with the matter said it was to pave way for the restructuring of the debt-laden company.

Nik Hamdan Daud, who joined Barakah as an executive director in March 2012 before taking the helm in April 2016, stepped down “due to personal reason” effective today, an exchange filing today showed.

He will be succeeded by 54-year-old Abdul Rahim Awang, an auditor who has been vice president and chief corporate officer of Barakah since September 2013.

The source close to the matter told that the resignation of Nik Hamdan — Barakah’s controlling shareholder with a 33.808%. direct stake — was the "best action" for the company.

“The boardroom change as announced today was thought of as the best action that can be taken for the group to work on resolving its financial problem, especially the amount that is overdue to its creditors.

“It is also understood that the group has identified a potential new investor to negotiate the terms with its creditors, but no agreements have been signed as of now. The parties involved are still working out the numbers and will make relevant announcements after that, possibly by the end of next month,” the source added.

Last month, Barakah said in a stock exchange filing dated March 18 that its total borrowings, inclusive of its subsidiaries, stood at RM335.6 million. Based on its balance sheet as at Dec 31, 2018, the company’s long-term liabilities were at RM172.02 million while trade payables were at RM139.69 million.

At the time, Barakah also said the amount of debt it needs to restructure was not known yet. "The board of directors of Barakah wishes to clarify that the company is still in the midst of formulating a debt restructuring scheme to settle the group’s debt,” Barakah said in a stock exchange filing dated March 18.

It was responding to an article by The Edge Malaysia that was published for the week of March 18-24, 2019, citing sources, which reported that Barakah was, alongside its two main subsidiaries — PBJV Group Sdn Bhd and Kota Laksamana 101 Ltd — seeking to restructure RM726.53 million worth of debts.

Barakah shares, which have gained over 60% on a year-to-date basis, closed half a sen or 5.26% higher at 10 sen today, after 19.16 million shares crossed. At its current price, the group is valued at RM83.58 million.