ERHC CEO Ali Memon was cordial but tight-lipped about ERHC's future at the company's first annual shareholders' meeting in Houston Feb. 4.
Date: Fri Feb 4, 2005 4:21 pm
Subject: Re: Shareholder meeting updates
The meeting was disappointing. Not much info was gleaned because none was forthcoming. Mr. Memon was tight-lipped with a lot of, "I don't knows" and "I can't comments" and "We'll just have to sees."
Headed to the Black Swan for ginger ale.
An abbreviated attendance list and a summary was offered by stockhocker70 on RB:
OK, guys, mtg over. Sitting in hotel lobby sharing drink s with:
In short, nothing revealing came from mtg. Both measures passed, name change and [stock ownership] plan.
meeting led by Memom
also present were John Coleman
Chris Nizeze (?) secretary
Sandra Jones atty with Prichard
Offor not there.
Meeting lasted about 45 minutes
As expected, no comments about awards.
Summary to follow...
He followed up minutes later with this recap:
OK, these are all responses to questions asked. there were around 40 persons present. all but the company seemed to come from RB. No special guests and no known bigwigs.
Memom appeared to be suprised by the number of us there. It was a very small room, and I could not establish any connections.
The first order of biz was to cover the issues up for vote and announce passage. Once that was done, the meeting was offficially closed and then unofficially opened for q and a, which went on for 30-40 minutes.
Memon was very cordial and answered questions as best he could w/o revealing anything confidential. He ran the meeting very well and answered every single question and stayed until no one had further questions.
More 2 come.
Later came this from regular RB poster rockreation:
Just to tag on to SH70. The meeting was very professionally run and exactly as predicted, NOTHING new was discussed. There were some creative questions asked and some dumb questions asked (primarily by some Psycho named Len Friedman from Houston) [who] sounded like a therapist trying to be an analyst.
Many good questions were met with a polite "No comment." Anything that was forward looking in nature, called for speculation, or not directly related to ERHC was tabled. As you should have expected. The take away here should be that they are not interested in screwing up this deal with avoidable mistakes, and that they are getting good advice and following it.
Memon seems like a well-educated and articulate fella. John Coleman is less than impressive and even less so one on one. But in his defense, he has done his appointed job well so far.
I would be happy to answer any specific questions about the meeting but this pretty much sums it up.
That earned this possibly tongue-in-cheek comeback from PepsiMan2001:
Just trying to get a feel for the atmosphere. Did they sound upbeat? Express any disappointment that awards haven't been announced? Or were they monotone and express nary any emotion as to what the future holds? TIA
Perhaps the best account came from stocks2rise, a relatively new name on the RB board:
Shareholder meeting observations:
Ali Memon is very articulate and poised. He looked very surprised at the attendence (appx 35 shareholders). As expected he was evasive on many questions. He did say up front that he was not able to comment on sp, awards discussions, etc but would answer any question to the best of his ability within SEC guidelines.
I asked Him what the strategic plans were for moving the company from a bb stock to Nasdaq or NYSX and what the timing would be. He said they would look at the stock price as the company moved forward and decide what the best course of action would be.
I also asked him if there was a partnership with Devon in that we had a partnership with Pioneer and Noble but nothing with Devon. He said we did not have a partnership agreement signed with Devon but they were brought in to form a consortium in order to leverage the percentage higher in the blocks.
I asked him about the 30-day time period that Exxon has to decided their 25% rights and if that 30 days has started yet. He said he was not aware of the 30-day constraint but that he had no idea when they would be deciding as it was between Exxon and the JDA.
I believe Stockhocker asked if he was in discussion with Exxon concerning the farmout of the 25% and he said he could not comment. His demeanor said otherwise. It was the general consensus from attendees afterward that they felt he was in discussions with Exxon.
It was also asked two times if ERHC had any interest in other areas, such as Libya. He said no the first time, but the second time it was asked, later, he said the company would be looking at all opportunities in the future, including Libya, but right now all the energies are going into the Gulf of Guinea in order to leverage their assets.
Most other questions were such that he could not answer them legally. I was impressed with his speaking ability (it was very clear and well-polished and most impressively, he made eye contact with every person that asked a question. He also made it a point to look around the room while he was answering a question so that everyone felt he was talking to them individually. I think we have a real winner for a president!
Another question put forth [stated that] the flow of information was lacking, and he replied [that] they would make every effort to put information on the Website as quickly as it is legally available. They have not only the SEC rules but also the partnership confidentiality agreements to consider.
[RB poster] Magh2so4 taped the whole meeting and will try to set up chat on EF so that everyone can listen to it that has audio capabilities. I am sure there will be others that will put their thoughts here as well. Just wanted you to know some of my recollections.
In an addendum, stocks2rise added:
One thing I forgot to mention is that a question was asked (I think by Stockhocker) concerning the discrepancy between the last 10-K and the previous filing concerning the company's two 100 % rights in the STP EEZ, and whether or not they are signature-bonus free.
Memon and John Coleman said nothing had changed from the [2003 Nigeria-Sao Tome] treaty. John Coleman said he just tried to streamline the 10-K as he thought it was too wordy, and that doing so would not make a difference.
I beg to differ. A signature bonus of as much as $130 million per block is a huge factor. When pressed, both Memon and Coleman said yes, both blocks are signature- bonus free.