Century Petroleum has confirmed that it has entered into a binding letter of agreement with Ibeto Cement Company Limited.
In the agreement which outlines the proposed terms and conditions pursuant to which Century Petroleum Corp and Ibeto Cement Company Limited will effect a business combination that will result in a reverse merger of Century Petroleum by the shareholders of Ibeto Cement Company Limited.
A reverse merger also called reverse takeover or reverse IPO is another way for a private company to go public. It’s typically through a simpler, shorter, and less expensive process than that of a conventional initial public offering (IPO)
The private company buys enough shares to control a publicly traded company. The private company’s shareholders then use its shares in the private company to exchange for shares in the public company.
According to reports by Nasdaq, with the signing of the letter of agreement, Chief Cletus Ibeto, the billionaire owner of the Ibeto Group, has acquired 70% stake in Century Petroleum Corp. While, Mandla J. Gwadiso, the newly appointed Chairman and CEO of Century Petroleum Corp has stepped down and Dr. Cletus M. Ibeto has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Board.
Terms of the transaction include:
- Change of name by Century Petroleum Corp to a name requested by Ibeto Cement Company Limited and acceptable to applicable regulatory authorities.
- Consolidation of its outstanding Century Petroleum Shares on a basis to be determined.
- Replacement of all directors and officers of the Company on the closing of the Proposed Transaction with nominees of Ibeto Cement Company Limited.
- Create a new class of non-participating super-voting shares that would be issued to the founder of Ibeto Cement Company Limited, Dr. Cletus M. Ibeto, under the Proposed Transaction.
Reacting to the new development, Kent Clark, Chairman of Palewater Global Management Inc which is the parent company of Century Petroleum Corp noted that the reverse merger is a vital step in becoming a vibrant public company and is a key element of its growth strategy.
What this means for Ibeto
Recall that Ibeto Cement Group recently announced the signing of a Milost Equity Subscription Agreement (MESA) with Milost Global Inc. The binding agreement is for an $850 million financing, of which $500 million is in equity and $350 million debt.
Cletus Ibeto, Chairman Ibeto Group, revealed the company’s plan to grow beyond West Africa through the acquisition of other profitable cement businesses outside Nigeria within the next 12 months, leveraging on the development of its two new cement plants.
Ibeto Cement Company Limited, is a privately held company incorporated under Nigerian law, is one of the most dominant players in the fast-growing cement industry in Nigeria and, by extension, Africa. It is currently developing two cement plants in Nigeria: one in Ebonyi State and one in Cross River State/Abia State.
Century Petroleum Corp. was incorporated on December 13, 2004, as an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition and exploration of oil and gas properties with a view to exploiting any oil and gas reserves it discovers.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.
Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months
Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.
France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.
He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.
That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.
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LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.
This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.
In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:
“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”
He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.