The securities regulator's effort to bring the dead horses of local bourses back into production is likely to work for Emerald Oil Industries' shareholders as a Japanese firm already has joined its board of directors with an 8% shareholding and in talks to get more.
Minori Bangladesh Limited, a subsidiary of Japanese farming company Minori Co Limited, is in talks to inject Tk50 crore to help Emerald Oil turn around, said Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
The founder of Emerald Oil fled the country a few years back as he faced a corruption trial due to his scam in taking bank loans from BASIC Bank.
Since then, the company has been left inoperative and deepened the pains of its shareholders as they suffered stock price drop and got no dividends for four years.
The regulator, as a part of its drive to resurrect the listed sick companies, in March this year reconstructed Emerald Oil's board by appointing five independent directors having sound professional backgrounds.
One of them told The Business Standard, "We are working to bring the dead horse back into production as there is potential."
The company would need to clear its debts against which the bank holds the company's shares owned by its sponsors.
"If the bank, state and the regulator cooperate, there is a chance to utilise the injectable funds to regularise the company's credit profile and the Japanese firm may get more shares against its investment to take control of the company," he said.
The Japanese firm has nominated its local representative Sidratul Mahabub Hasan in the Emerald Oil board and may get more seats there if their investment plan succeeds, said the independent director seeking anonymity.
Emerald Oil, incorporated in 2008, began production of its Spondon-branded rice bran oil in 2011 and entered the bourses in 2014.
But, in a few years, it melted down both in its business and in the stock market as soon as the founder's loan scams unfolded.
The new board is working on its plan to rebuild the company so that it can begin operation if the plan for fresh investments sees light.
Organic farming company Minori's Bangladesh operations are based in Tangail.
The Business Standard could not reach its representative Sidratul Mahabub Hasan over the telephone.
Emerald Oil stock price was Tk10.8 against the face value of Tk10 each in March this year and that has jumped to Tk28.3 a share on June 30 following the reconstitution of its board.
Having its debut at Tk50 in March 2014, the stock soared to Tk80 in 2016, just before the loan scam of the founder unfolded.