NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, is investigating potential misconduct at Cobalt International Energy, Inc. ("Cobalt" or the "Company") (CIE).
The investigation focuses on whether the Company's Board of Directors and its officers committed mismanagement and breached their fiduciary duties. In 2007, Cobalt entered into an agreement with Sonangol E.P. ("Sonangol"), the Angolan national oil company, to acquire a 40% interest in oil exploration Blocks 9, 20 and 21 in offshore Angola. In 2009, the Angolan Parliament issued two decrees assigning an interest in the Blocks to Nazaki Oil & Gaz ("Nazaki"), Sonangol P&P, and Alper Oil, Limitada ("Alper"). In February 2010, Cobalt and these other companies signed Risk Services Agreements ("RSAs") with Sonangol.
Cobalt drilled two exploration wells in the offshore Angola drilling region: Lontra on Block 20 and Loengo on Block 9. Cobalt had no rights to gas discoveries and, instead, had rights only to any oil that was discovered in the Blocks. Ultimately, Lontra was found to contain a higher percentage of gas than originally estimated, and drilling at Loengo failed to discover oil.
On January 4, 2011, Cobalt filed a Registration Statement and Prospectus with the SEC. Pursuant to this registration statement, Cobalt conducted a stock offering in late February 2012 and a bond offering in December 2012. On March 10, 2011, the SEC commenced an informal inquiry into allegations that a connection existed between Nazaki and senior government officials in Angola. Cobalt contacted the Department of Justice ("DOJ") regarding the allegations, and both the SEC and the DOJ began formal investigations into whether Cobalt had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ("FCPA"). The SEC investigation terminated in January 2015, with no recommendation for enforcement action against Cobalt. The DOJ investigation remains ongoing.
As a result of the foregoing, two securities fraud actions were filed against the Company and certain of the Company's directors and officers. Although the Cobalt defendants moved to dismiss the securities class action claims, on January 19, 2016, Judge Nancy F. Atlas denied the Cobalt defendants' motions and held that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that the Cobalt defendants knew that Nazaki was owned by Angolan officials and that the Cobalt defendants knew "fairly early on" that Lontra was primarily gas, to which Cobalt had no rights, and there was "not even a remote chance" that Loengo would be successful.
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If you currently own Cobalt stock and would like to discuss your legal rights, please visit www.faruqilaw.com/CIE. You can also contact us by calling Stuart Guber toll free at (215) 277-5770 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP also encourages anyone with information regarding Cobalt's conduct to contact the firm, including whistleblowers, former employees, shareholders and others.
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