The tussle over the transfer of shares between billionaire businessman, Oba Otudeko, teleco, Airtel Networks Limited, and Adewale Tinubu has shifted to the Federal High Court. In a suit filed by the businessman, he is seeking a $28.7 million damages against the Teleco.
The suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos and joined as co-defendants in the suit are: Jubril Adewale Tinubu, with 9,906250 shares being 9.9% voting capital, O&0 Networks limited, Delta Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Delta State Government, Corporate Affairs Commission, Econet Wireless Limited, Econet Development Corporation, Ecobank Nigeria limited, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.
The alleged transfer of shares [The Delta State role]
The Plaintiff alleged that the Delta State Government purportedly transferred their beneficial ownership in the shares of the O&0 Network Limited back to Jubril Adewale Tinubu who subsequently transferred the shares to Oceanic bank Plc as part of a process of securitization and foreclosure arising from loans advanced to him by Oceanic bank.
However, the plaintiffs further alleged that sometime in 2005, without any formal or informal notice they became aware that in 2001 and 2003, Jubril Adewale Tinubu reached secret agreements to transfer all the company’s share O&0 Network Limited in Airtel to Delta State Ministry of Finance incorporated and Delta State Government for a premium.
The 9,906,250 ordinary shares of the O&0 Network sold, in breach of the plaintiff’s pre-emptive right was valued at $4.50 thereby amounting to $44,578,125.
The plaintiffs claim against the defendants jointly and severally are as follows:
- An order mandating the defendants to pay the Plaintiffs the sum of $28,728,125 being the interest /profit accrued on the 9,906,250, ordinary shares sold in breach of the plaintiff’s pre-emptive rights in the Airtel Company.
- Interest on same at the rate of 23% per annum from 15th July 2003 till judgment is delivered.
Airtel has however denied been a privy to the facts that led up to the dispute, as claimed by the Plaintiffs in his statement of claim.
In addition, the company revealed that it is not a party to the shareholders’ agreement which forms the crux of this dispute, as the shareholder’s agreement was entered strictly among the shareholders of Airtel.
Covid-19: Pfizer, BioNTech’s vaccine ready before end of the year
BioNTech is in partnership with Pfizer to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of German biotech firm, BioNTech, has announced that the company and New York-based pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer’s Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to obtain regulatory approval by the end of 2020.
The German biotech firm which is in partnership with Pfizer to develop this coronavirus vaccine is confident that it will be ready for regulatory approval by the end of the year.
The co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech, Dr Ugur Sahin, said that several hundred million doses could be produced even before approval and over 1 billion by the end of 2021, according to a wall street journal report.
The experimental vaccine which has shown a lot of progress against the fast-spreading respiratory illness in early-stage human testing is expected to move into a large trial stage that will involve 30,000 healthy participants later this month while waiting for regulatory approval.
According to an earlier report from Reuters, Pfizer and BioNTech are getting set to produce up to 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the 2020 and another 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021 at sites in Germany and the United States.
It can be recalled that earlier this week, U.S. vaccine specialist, Novavax said in its statement that it will receive $1.6 billion from the federal government to support the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate as a new member of the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, which aims to accelerate the development of a vaccine.
Guinea Insurance Plc gives optimistic Q3 earnings forecast in spite of COVID-19
Note that some companies have had to revise their earnings estimates due to pandemic.
Guinea Insurance Plc is being very optimistic, having projected a 78.6% rise in gross premium written to N1.8 in Q3 2020, up from N1 billion during the comparable period in 2019. The insurer also forecasted a profit after tax of N185.8 million for the period, indicating an expected better performance compared to N735 million loss recorded in Q3 2019.
The earnings forecast, which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange earlier today, also estimated that reinsurance expense for Q3 will be at N337.5 million. Claims expenses, underwriting expenses, and other operating experiences were equally put at N331.3 million, N292.6 million, and N692.2 million, respectively.
Note that this forecast is coming amid the negative economic impacts wrought by the Coronavirus pandemic. But while a growing list of companies (including Guinness Nigeria Plc) has downgraded their 2020 earnings and profitability forecasts, Guinea Insurance is expecting growth and that is good.
In Q1 2020, Guinea Insurance Plc reported gross premium written OF N207 million and a profit after tax of N12.6 million. The company’s consolidated half-year 2020 financial has not been released and is expected sometime between this month and next month.
The company’s share price ended today’s trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange at N0.20. Year to date, this stock has not recorded any price movement.
Manufacturers declare support for unification of exchange rate
Ahmed urged the CBN to tackle activities that made speculators manipulate the multiple exchange rates.
The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Mansur Ahmed, announced on Friday that the recent CBN unification of Nigeria’s exchange rate is a welcome development that will boost investor confidence in Nigeria.
He said the exchange rate unification will enable stable planned production for manufacturers in Nigeria leading to economic growth, adding that the Manufacturers Association had urged for an exchange rate unification to enable a market-friendly business environment in Nigeria.
“Clearly, this is a welcome development and a laudable initiative that has come at the right time. This is more so, particularly, now that the economic outlook is gloomy in light of the impact of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that has culminated in uninspiring macroeconomic situations,” he said.
He revealed that the World Bank had attributed Nigeria’s falling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the multiple exchange rates as investors felt a “manipulation of the foreign exchange market.”
“The unification will also boost investors’ confidence, control rising inflation, and promote transparency, entrench better exchange rate management and eradicate distortions to the barest minimum,” he added.
He urged the CBN to tackle activities that made speculators manipulate the multiple exchange rates like “round-tripping” which he says expand the inflows of foreign investment into the economy.
He called on the Central Bank to implement 2 strategies to ensure a smooth transition into a unified exchange rate system.
“The first is to limit the short-term pains until efficiency gains materialize by responding swiftly with an inward-oriented rescue guideline while the second should seek to boost the pace at which such efficiency gains materialize,” he said.
He advised, it’s necessary the CBN “submit all the instruments of exchange rate determination” towards a free-market approach.