Gulf Keystone (LSE:GKP)

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GKP's ongoing litigation dashes hopes of move-up in 2013

Gulf Keystone Petroleum's ongoing litigation dashes hopes of move-up in 2013

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) dipped almost 2% in early morning trading on Monday as investors voiced frustration at the company's delay to its potential main market listing.

The company updated investors on its court case with Excalibur Ventures, which it said was yet to be concluded.

On 10 September the English Commercial Court dismissed all of the claims asserted by Excalibur and decided all issues in favour of Gulf Keystone, its two subsidiaries and Texas Keystone.

However, the hearing was adjourned to a date to be fixed for argument on costs and any application for permission to appeal.

Date set

Gulf Keystone today confirmed the court has set 10:30am on 13 December as the date for handing down its full judgment and for the hearing of consequential matters.

These include the costs of the litigation and Excalibur's potential for appealing the judgment.

Until it is clear whether Excalibur intends to appeal or not - and Gulf Keystone pointed out it could go to the Court of Appeal if the English Commercial Court refused permission - the company does not think it can go ahead with its move-up to the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

"The board of Gulf Keystone expects conclusion of the proposed admission to trading on the main market to be as soon as practicable in 2014," Gulf Keystone said in a statement.

This contradicted chief executive Todd Kozel's statement on 10 September after the initial decision: "We look forward to pursuing the company's stated objectives for the future, now that we have the court's decision regarding these historical events.

"The board and management will now focus on progressing the ramp-up in production and development of the Shaikan world-class discovery in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. On the corporate front, our next objective is to complete the move to the standard segment of the official list by the end of 2013."

Excalibur started legal action against Gulf Keystone and two of its subsidiaries, alongside Texas Keystone, back in December 2010.

The US-based firm made certain contractual and non-contractual claims and said it was entitled to an interest of up to 30% in the companies' blocks in Kurdistan.

Investor view

Over on the Interactive Investor discussion board, a lot of users were disappointed by the delay to listing on the main market.

'Col R Jessop' said: "Another missed target and from the sounds of it a likely high court appeal. Looks like we might see another few wasted months."

'Redhammy' was more understanding and said: "Disappointed to have missed yet another deadline, but happy with the reason given. 13 December for the court ruling and one more monkey off our back."

Others were more philosophical yet: "I'm not too bothered regarding the missed target as it is not in GKP's hands and can't be blamed on Todd for a change. Lots depending on this is my guess for many tired shareholders. Let's just hope this will be the first Christmas in three years that we have this monkey off our back and get this mother up for sale," 'Mrgreystone' said.

This article is delivered as part of Interactive Investor's Interface service, which brings companies enhanced exposure to Interactive Investor's audience of active retail investors. Companies pay a fee to be included in this service. For more on Interface click here.

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