This Corporate News Compilation for the week ended January 13th, 2018 is brought to you by Bluechip Technology Ltd Nigeria.

  1. A new twist emerged in the 9Mobile/Etisalat story after the Federal High Court in Ikoyi on Friday nullified the ex parte order approving the appointment of an interim board for Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service, EMTS, the owners of 9Mobile. Spectrum Wireless, one of the shareholders of EMTS had requested that the court nullify the appointment of the new board. Spectrum also claimed that the order obtained to constitute the interim board and executive management (which was done in June 2017) was obtained “by misrepresentation of facts that alienated its interests in the EMTS.” The nullification followed dismissal of the Preliminary Objection filed by United Capital Trustees Ltd in response to the application by Spectrum Wireless. Spectrum’s application was for a nullification of the ex parte order by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court.Image result for 9mobile
  2. Still on 9Mobile, Globacom finally came out to debunk rumours that it had acquired 9 Mobile. It appears that they issued a press release debunking this sale, albeit after the rumour had been allowed to swirl for about 24 hours.‏“We are bound by the terms of the acquisition process as stipulated by the authorities handling it and we will not in any way sway or deviate from the rules.“We repose confidence in Barclays Africa, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria which are handling the process that will lead to the emergence of a new owner for the company. “Globacom urges all stakeholders and, indeed, the Nigerian public to disregard the report.” Can the rumours die now?Image result for globacom debunks acquisition rumour of 9mobile
  3. Spectranet announced last week that the NCC had adjudged it the leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Nigeria. It cited an industry report (which I am yet to see) as its source. According to Spectranet, the report claims “it has nearly 50 per cent of the customer market share comprising Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Nigerian households.” Undated Stats on the website of the NCC puts Spectranet customers at about 193,982 with about 108,629 active. The closest to it was Smile with 156, 243 customer. Image result for spectranet
  4. MTN reported last week that is now has 5G capabilities after successfully testing it. The company claims the technology is at least 100 times faster than 4G. MTN hopes to deploy the technology in Nigeria were it currently has a 4G license. It’s interesting to note that MTN does not have a 4G license in South Africa. Reports indicate South Africa is yet to issue 4G licenses.Image result for mtn 5G
  5. Jumia announced that it is introducing stricter compliance rules for all its vendors, which will include stringent fines for non-compliance. According to the company’s CEO, Juliet Anammah , the new measures include: Shipping of orders within 48 hours; Listing of only genuine products on the Jumia platform; Never going out of stock, among others. Fines for non-compliance would be N2,500 fine for shipping items late, N50,000 fine for shipping counterfeit items, N2,500 maximum fine for items going out of stock. Jumia also gave special recognition to its super vendors, HAYAT, Oneway Collections, Opeyemi Foods, Best Price Technologies, House of Oge, H&N Couture, Frieslandcampina Pplc, Delight Price, Affordable Luxury and Fashionholic who saw sales increase 600% in 2017.Image result for jumia ceo
  6. Just as we expected, the InterContinental Hotels Group Plc announced its withdrawal of its name and branding rights with the Milan Group. The 358 room Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, which is owned by the Milan Group has been struggling to meet up with payments of its Management Fees, which cost it about N40 million per month. Recall, a court gave Skye Bank (AMCON) powers to take over the company after the Milan Group failed to meet up with the payment obligation of its N30 billion loan. Brand Consultants and Service providers should have their marketing teams drawing up proposals as the exit of IHG means the hotel will now have to change its brand name including logos on all its furniture and fittings, ID cards, branding materials, bed sheets, insignias etc.
  7. Still on hotels, as Intercontinental bids Nigeria Goodbye, Radisson Blu seems to be expanding its tentacles. The hotel operator announced the opening of its third hotel to open in Nigeria and its second in Lagos. The third hotel is the impressive Renaissance Hotel in GRA Ikeja which will now be called Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja. The hotel has about 155 rooms. Raddison now follows Protea, Sheraton and Hilton as foreign brand hotel operators with more than 3 branded hotels in Nigeria.Image result for Radisson Blu
  8. Kenyan owned marketing communications firm WPP Scangroup will be launching an advertising joint venture in Nigeria. The company has been trying to make inroads into Africa’s largest economy but had a court case which was blocking its entry. It reported that It has settled the court case and cannot commence operations in Nigeria. According to the company it will be own 24.9% of a JV with a Nigerian company. The JV will be the vehicle for its operations in Nigeria.
  9. In perhaps the first major corporate deal this year, Milost Global announced that it has closed the acquisition of Primewaterview Holdings Nigeria Limited. Primewaterview is one of the biggest indigenous real estate development companies in Nigeria. Milost revealed together with its African subsidiary, Isilo Capital Partners (Pty) Ltd, it has closed the acquisition of a 100% interest in Primewaterview Holdings Nigeria for a total consideration of $1.1 billion. Primewaterview doesn’t just own portfolio in Real Estate, it also large scale, diversified holding company with a portfolio of Oil & Gas, Quarry Mining, Healthcare and Power. Other details of the deal reveal Milost and Isilo Capital Partners will start to earn almost immediately with Primewater’s stable revenue streams expected to contribute 10% accretion to Milost FFO on a run-rate basis. Primewaterview is Milost’s first meaningful investment in Nigeria. HRH Prince Adetunji Ogunwusi (elder brother of the Ooni of Ife) and his partners, previously owned Primewaterview. The company is currently developing a 2000 bed Medical City project which is going in construction at the end of the first quarter of 2018 along with the tallest building project in Africa.Image result for Primewaterview Holdings Nigeria Limited
  10. Nigerian owned company, Eta Zuma West Africa Group announced that it has inaugurated the production and sale of coal briquettes as alternative fuel for home use. The company’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Innocent Ezuma, said at the inauguration of the plant in Ankpa, Kogi State that the factory would produce 2,000 tonnes of coal briquettes a month. The company explains that the coal briquettes are used on specially designed stoves to eliminate soot and smoke as well as provide focused and efficient heat for domestic cooking. Ezuma also said contract had been awarded for the expansion of the factory to handle the production of additional 10,000 tonnes of coal briquettes. In an interesting interview, Ezuma explained that a total of $30m would be spent to set up full capacity for production of 57,000 tonnes of briquettes per annum. He also explained some interesting challenges they faced with the technology. Let’s quote him verbatim“We started this project about five years ago. Within this period, we have invested about $6m. We thank God that today; we are seeing the fruit of our labour. The machines were specially made. Coal is an abrasive material but by special technology, we now have it bound together. Coal is like sand. It does not cleave together. We needed some organic mineral materials to bind it. We did a lot of research to come to this perfect mix. “We can source the minerals locally; but for us to start, we had to import the binders.Related image
  11. We have some good news for Kia owners. Kia Motors Nigeria has teamed up with Cars45, to provide a pre-owned car sales and Trade-in programme for all Kia cars. The partnership basically allows Kia owners to trade-in their Kia cars for an all-new Kia car or an outright sale of a used Kia car with an immediate payment. This arrangement probably favours KIA a lot more considering that the second-hand value of Korean cars pales in comparison to Japanese cars.Image result for Kia Motors Nigeria partners cars45
  12. First Bank announced last week that it will set aside N15bn loan budget for schools nationwide. The bank said the educational products and solutions include the FirstEdu Loan, Operational Vehicle Loan, Term Loans for constructing new sites and renovation of existing sites, Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) and Salary Overdraft (SODA) which enhances Parents/Guardians’ capacity to pay their wards’ school fees. The FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery, Secondary and A-Levels schools. The bank did not reveal what the interest rate for these loans will be. It’s an interesting product for an industry that attracts a reliable and easily understandable stream of cash flows. With the right pricing, this could be a very good product for the bank.Image result for first bank firstEdu loan
  13. United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has launched a chat banking personality named Leo that enables its customers make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions. Customers of the bank can make use of Facebook chat function to enjoy banking services through chat sessions. Also, users would be able to perform other transactions using the chat banking; including payments of bills, data top-up, mini-statements, loan applications; cheque confirmation, account freezing, open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfers and airtime top up. This basically rides on Facebook’s chat bot technology, something that is being increasingly adopted by corporates.Image result for UBA launch chat banking
  14. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has suspended trading in the shares of 7UP Nigeria Plc. The suspension paves the way for the takeover bid by Affleka holdings. Recall some weeks back we reported that Affleka Holdings was set to takeover 7up. The deal will eventually lead to the delisting of the company from the NSE. Delisting a stock means it will no longer trade on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Affleka holdings is owned by the El-Khalil family which founded the company. Affelka SA, the majority shareholder in 7-UP Plc, had proposed to buy out the 171,542,574 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each representing the 26.78% of the company’s issued share capital that it does not own at N112.70 per share. In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) this week, Affelka SA the majority shareholder in 7-UP Plc revised its offer for all the shares it does not own to N125 per share. The revised offer was at a 22.6% premium to the last traded share price of the company on January 9 2018 and a premium to the 27.6% premium to the August 10, 2017 which was the last date prior to the announcement of the proposal by Affleka.Image result for NSE suspends 7up trading
  15. In case you did not know, Nigeria has its own Cryptocurrency Company. SureRemit which we mentioned here last year has launched its ICO on its website Recall we explained that the company developed a crypto token which with a specific purpose; allowing immigrants a quick, safe means to send non-cash value to their family and friends, at zero transaction cost. Interesting to note that global remittances was $429 billion and most of it went through MoneyGram and Western Union remittances in Sub Saharan Africa was about $33b. Nigeria made up over half this amount with about $19b and was 6th overall globally. SureRemit just needs to acquire about 10% of this inflow to be a force in the financial services sector.