C&I Leasing Plc, Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Suspension
C&I Leasing Plc

Two weeks ago, the management of C&I Leasing Plc announced that it had finalised the complete acquisition of stakes in C&I Petrotech Marine Limited, thereby making the company its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Prior to the 27.5% minority stake buyout, C&I Petrotech Marine Limited was a joint venture partnership.

The complete acquisition of C&I Petrotech Marine Limited is just one out of the two major steps that C&I Leasing Plc has taken in recent times towards the restructuring and repositioning of its operations for enhanced profitability. More about this will be discussed shortly.

In the meantime, note that C&I Leasing Plc is one of those little-known companies which Nairametrics has been profiling once every week. Get to know more about it – its year of incorporation, services, financial performance, and debt crisis.

Corporate information about C&I Leasing Plc

Incorporated in 1990, C&I Leasing Plc is a Nigerian company which, through its subsidiaries, specialises in the provision of services such as fleet management, automobile distribution, marine vessel rental, equipment leasing, security and escort services, and fire-fighting services.

The company also offers pollution control services, mooring support, and recruitment/HR consultancy services, to mention a few. It is headquartered in Lagos Nigeria, but has operations in Ghana (Leasafric) and the United Arab Emirates (EPIC International FZE).

Like most companies, C&I Leasing Plc initially started out as a limited liability company, with a license from the Central Bank of Nigeria to offer finance leases and operating leases.

By 1997, the company restructured and diversified its operations, while also converting from a limited liability company to a public company. That same year, it had its stocks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, thereby becoming the first leasing, logistics and rental company to do so in Nigeria.

Some of the company’s main services are:

Deal book 300 x 250
Deal book 300 x 250
  • C&I Marine
  • Fleet Management Solutions
  • Hertz Rent-A-Car
  • C&I Outsourcing
  • CITRANS Telematics Solutions

A look at the target markets for C&I Leasing Plc

As one of the leading logistics, leasing and support services firms in Nigeria, C&I Leasing Plc has target markets in the maritime, oil and gas, transportation, manpower outsourcing, telecommunications and equipment rental sectors. One of its biggest customers is probably Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC).

C&I is currently engaged in a long-term contract with the international oil company, which has seen six of C&I’s vessels deployed to the deep sea for oil exploration activities.

Meanwhile, as part of its outsourcing support services, C&I Leasing offers human resources and recruitment services to different companies. The company also manages fleets and rents vehicles — all services that are needed by companies in different sectors of the economy.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that it has a wide target market but how well has it leveraged this opportunity towards ensuring success?

The company’s board of directors

Mr Andrew Otike Odibi: He is the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive.  He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, as well as a Masters’ in Business Administration.

He is also a Chartered Accountant. Prior to joining C&I Leasing in 1998 as a Senior Manager, Odibi served a Branch Manager for Diamond Bank Plc. He was appointed to C&I’s board of directors in 2007, 9 years after joining the company. He has since remained with the company, becoming its MD/CEO in 2016.

Chief Henry Okolo: Okolo currently serves as the company’s Chairman. A graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a degree in Accounting, he is also the Chief Executive Officer of Dorman Long Engineering Limited.

He is also the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, as well as a former Coordinator of the West African Enterprise Network (Nigerian Chapter) from 1995–1997.

Other notable members of the company’s board are:

  •         Mr Emeka Ndu: Vice Chairman and Founder
  •         Mr Alex Mbakogu: Executive Director
  •         Mr Omotunde Alao-Olaifa: Non-Executive Director
  •         Mr Sule Ogbomo: Non-Executive Director
  •         Jacob Kholi: Non-Executive Director
  •         Ikechukwu Duru: Independent Non-Executive Director
  •         Larry Ademeso: Non-Executive Director
CnI Directors’ shareholding according to the company’s 2017 FY report.

The company’s substantial shareholding structure

C&I Leasing Plc’s shares are substantially held by Leadway Assurance Co Ltd, CIL Acquico Ltd, and Petra Properties Ltd. These are all companies that are affiliated with some of the company’s directors.

The number of units and the percentages held by each of the above can be seen below: 

  • Leadway Assurance Co Ltd: 140,000,353 units; 8.66%
  • CIL Acquico Ltd: 130, 789, 499 units; 8.099%
  • Petra Properties Ltd: 87, 685, 985 units; 5.42%

Who are the company’s competitors?

C&I Leasing Plc faces competition mainly from other maritime support services providers such as Shelf Drilling and Borr Drilling, OES Energy Services Limited, Fenog Offshore Vessels, Zircon Marine, Blue Seas Maritime Services Limited, Japaul Plc, etc.

The company faces competition in the human resources/outsourcing sector, with the likes of Jobberman and other newer entrants dominating the sector.

It is also important to note that the company is not having it easy in the car renting space, seeing as platforms such as Uber and Taxify are having a field day.

The company’s financial performance over the years

C&I Leasing Plc has managed to keep its revenue on the rise in the past five years. In the same vein, it has remained relatively profitable over the same period under review, between 2013 and 2017.

For instance, the company’s revenue rose from ₦12.2 billion in 2013 to ₦21.3 billion in 2017. Similarly, it remained profitable over the same period, with profit after tax (PAT) increasing from ₦161 million in 2013 to ₦1.1 billion in 2017. Margin as you can see has remained low.

But this performance notwithstanding, C&I Leasing has remained in bed with debt over the years.

More on the company’s financial woes

The company has a balance sheet size of N45 billion, out of which N35 billion is made up of all kinds of debt.

The interesting thing about its debt profile is not just that it is 3.5x its equity, it is the number of people that the company is owing. C&I owes just about every category of debtors – from banks, bondholders, tax authorities, to suppliers and even retirees. It’s a long list that can make any perennial borrower proud.

Some of its major debtors are banks like Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Citi Bank, FCMB, GTBank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, UBA, Zenith Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank, Absa Bank, Lotus Capital, Stanbic IBTC and Intercontinental Bank – Cedi.

That is about 15 banks by our count. It also owes about ₦9.6 billion to some “Individual Clients” and “Institutional Clients” as at 2017.

With all these in perspective, it becomes intriguing to know what exactly the company has been doing to offset its debts.

On its struggles to overcome its financial difficulties

Earlier this year, C&I Leasing Plc issued a ₦7 billion bond, the first in a series of ₦20 billion debt issuance programme.

Interestingly, the issue was oversubscribed by 33%, thereby indicating, if nothing else, that the investing community still has faith in the company.

Proceeds from the capital issue was reportedly meant for the refinancing of maturing bank loans, while some parts of it would also be used to scale the company’s operations.

Meanwhile, as we noted earlier, the company also recently completed the buyout of 27.5% minority stake in Petrotech Marine Ltd ostensibly taking charge of the company, which is by the way one of its biggest revenue generators.

In closing, there is light in the tunnel for this company, despite its financial challenges. Margins are still relatively low and returns on equity remain in the single digits.

It recently released its Q1 2018 financial statement, reporting gross earning to the tune of ₦6.47 billion; up from ₦6.097 billion in Q1 2017. Profit after tax also grew from ₦305 million in Q1 2017 to ₦405 million in Q1 2018.

The stock has returned 300% in the last one year and has been one of the better performers this years. At N2.44 per share (as at Friday) it is still trading at 3x its earnings.

Perhaps not a stock we could consider a buy but one surely to watch.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I have observed a lack of proper understanding of the business model of the company and an unnecessary focus on the volume of debt without taking into consideration the use to which the debt was deployed.

    The writer states, It becomes intriguing to know what exactly the company has been doing to offset its debts.?

    My Response: It leverages on its credit worthiness to purchase Operating Assets (e.g. Marine Equipment) using Debt financing hence the Debts on its balance sheet. The Operating Assets are deployed under long term contract to IOC and the proceeds from these contract are used to pay off the Debt. Once the Debt are paid off the revenue from these assets will contribute more significantly to the bottom line of the company. C&I Leasing has expanded it’s fleet to over 20 Marine vessels using this strategy

    It is like taking a loan to buy a house and using the rent from the house to pay the loan. If you have a long term contracts with tenants that can comfortably pay off the loan used in purchasing the house then being able to borrow is an advantage and the more debt you deploy the better off you are on the long run.

    • Good morning, Tayo. Hope you are good today.

      Your observation has been noted. But you need to understand that this is not a sponsored post.
      I do not write praise-worthy articles to please anybody; I’m not a PR agent. So inasmuch as it is
      interesting how you are trying to control this narrative, I don’t think it will work.

      Do have a good day.

  2. Good Morning Emmanuel,

    I don’t expect you to act as a PR Agent, I however expect you to exercise a duty of care when advising the investing public on the prospects or otherwise of an investment. For the record I am not a C&I Leasing insider although I do have shares in the company based on my belief in the prospects of the company.

    I have an issue with your claim that the company faces financial woes. First of all the company is not facing any financial woe as it has been grown its revenue by 75% between 2013 and 2017 while profitability has grown from 680% during the same period. The stock on the back of this has gain 376% over the past 3 years and is the best performing stock on the stock exchange over the period (ignoring dividends). It is trading at 3X earnings which is very cheap for this or any stock market.

    A look at the cash flow for 1st quarter 2018 shows that the group was able to use the cash generated within the period meet operational expenses, pay interest of N1b, invest by buying operating assets of N1.5b, and it still was able to increase cash on hand by N212m.

    The debt you pointed out was used in financing N27bn of Operating Assets under long term contracts with major IOCs and proceed from the assets will pay of f the debt. How does this translate to financial woes?

    If I take a N10bn loan at 10% and invest in T-Bills at 15% how does the N10bn loan translate to an economic woe for me?

  3. Dear Emmanuel Abara Benson,
    We have noted your write-up on C&I Leasing Company and which to offer some clarity on some inaccurate information therein.
    Please note that the company did not have credit facilities with 10 out of the 15 Banks you stated in the write-up, namely Access Bank, Citi Bank, GT Bank, Fidelity Bank, UBA, Zenith Bank Standard Chartered Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank, Absa Bank, Lotus Capital while credit exposure with other 5 banks are well secured by existence of contracts for all the assets under lease facility.
    I wish to advise that you may have to take some time to study and understand the company’s business model. Doing this will offer you the liberty of a balanced write-up as C&I Leasing as a leasing company, has a statutory and regulated leverage which has not been breached or exceeded. Every debt of C&I Leasing is tied to long term contract. To the extent, that proceeds from such contract covers both the facility and operational expenses and even thereafter the contract, the assets keep generating income unencumbered.
    It may also interest you to note that in its 27 years of operation, C&I Leasing has met its repayment obligations as and when due.
    We thought it wise, therefore, to clear some measure of misrepresentation and jaundiced comment inherent in your write-up. Hope you will appreciate this.
    For your information, regular updates are available on the Company’s website.

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