Oceanteam Chairman Resigns – Points Finger at Ex-CFO and MD

Oceanteam chairman of the board Hessel Halbesma has handed in his resignation effective immediately, the Oslo-listed offshore services player informed on Thursday.

His resignation follows Haico Halbesma’s decision to step down as Oceantem CEO last week.

According to Oceanteam, Hessel Halbesma resigned in order to mitigate against further repercussion against the company and to diffuse the misinformation that is circulating currently.

In his letter of resignation Halbesma said that Oceanteam has been under public pressure and unnecessary investigations due to various uncontrolled counter forces, highlighting claims of ex-CFO Torbjorn Skulstad, who in 2016 resigned for alleged health concerns, that the “Halbesma’s were effectively skimming-off money” from the company.

Halbesma believes that these claims, among other things, have led the sitting management and the board into a climate of mistrust, caused grievous loss in value, and loss of potential clients and contracts and caused indisputable substantial damage to the company as a whole.

This situation has been further worsened by the uncertainty in the supporting institutions, such as banks and auditors (and some clients) who have adopted ‘caution’ in note of the claims being made.

It has resulted into the fact that Oceanteam is now in a ‘cash trap’ situation whereby funds are blocked by the banks into Oceanteam’s ship-owning entities. As a consequence, the banks at this time do not permit dividend payments to be made to the mother company Oceanteam ASA.

Further in Helbesma’s resignation letter was unveiled that a ‘thorough forensic investigation’ found that Lex van Doorn, former MD Oceanteam Solutions, and his brother had undertaken a ‘sophisticated procurement fraud’ for many millions of euros in the period 2013 to 2016, during which ex-CFO Skulstad was in charge of the company’s procedures and internal controls.

The full letter of resignation can be found here.

Subsea World News Staff