Corporate Actions: Rebuttals and a rights issue

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Corporate actions are decisions taken by companies’ boards of directors or management teams, that could have impacts on the firms themselves or shareholders.

Examples of corporate actions include the payment of dividends, closing of shareholders’ registers, announcing qualification dates and Annual General Meeting (AGM) dates.

Bua group

Here is a review of corporate actions that took place last week.

Rebuttals 

Morrison Industries Plc and Meyer Plc issued responses to media reports pertaining to the shut down of their firms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Meyer Plc, in its response stated that the shut down lasted a few hours, and was due to an error on the part of the FIRS. The agency had shut it down due to tax arrears of N54.6 million for 2016, which it had paid. After providing proof of payment, its premises was reopened.

Morrison Industries Plc also stated that its shut down was in error. The FIRS had also shut the firm down pertaining to tax liabilities for the 2016 assessment year. After providing proof of payment, the premises got reopened.

An Extension

Seplat Plc in a notice sent to the NSE, has extended its closed period which was to  end on Thursday, 28th February, 2019 till 24 hours after its result is released. The closed period commenced on Monday, 31st December, 2018.

The extension was made, following a board meeting scheduled for Thursday, 28th February, 2019.

During a closed period, management and board members with access to sensitive information can not trade their shares.

Coronation Research

Forte Oil Plc

Forte Oil Plc announced its plans to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on the 7th of February, 2019. The main agenda for the meeting is to obtain shareholders’ approval to enter into discussions with its Chairman, Femi Otedola concerning assets it intends divesting from.

The assets, namely its upstream unit, Ghanaian operations, and a stake in the Geregu power plant, will be independently valued and sold at commercial terms on an arms length basis.

Otedola is in the process of divesting his entire stake in the company.

Julius Berger Plc 

The board’s audit committee will be meeting on Wednesday January 30, 2019 to consider the company’s fourth quarter results. As such, a closed period commenced from January 17, 2019 and will end on January 30, 2019.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings 

A board meeting is scheduled to hold on Thursday, 31 January, 2019 at 10:00am.

The meeting will discuss audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December, 2018 for both the holding company, and subsidiaries.

A closed period which commenced on December 01, 2018 is still in effect.

This week, the board also announced the appointment of Mr. Barend Johannes Kruger as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 18 January, 2019 following the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. Kruger, has over 30 years of experience mostly with the Standard Bank Group.

One more step

The board of Zenith Bank Plc met on January 18, 2019 and among other things, approved its audited results for the financial year ended December 2018. The results have been forwarded to the CBN for approval, after which the bank will notify the Exchange.

Ella Lakes Plc

Ella Lakes released its results for the first quarter ended October 31st 2018. The company recorded a loss and apparently remains moribund, as the only revenue made was interest income.

ETI

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, has appointed Ms. Arunma Oteh to its board of directors as a Non-Executive Director.

Ms Oteh,  who began her career in finance in 1985, has had working experience in several organizations, including the World Bank and Africa Development Bank.

Oteh was Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission between 2010-2015 and is currently with Oxford University as an academic scholar at St. Antony’s College and an executive-in-residence at SAID Business School.

Vitafoam Plc

Vitafoam Plc commenced a closed period from the 17th of January, 2019 till the release of its results for the first quarter ended December 31st 2018.

Access Bank Plc

The bank issued a statement in response to some media reports that it intended issuing N150 billion worth of bonds. It had submitted an application to the CBN and SEC with respect to a N15 billion green bond, but would evaluate market conditions, before deciding to go ahead.

The bank also held a press brief this week, to update the public on progress with its planned merger with Diamond Bank Plc, and other issues.

Diamond Bank Plc 

Diamond Bank Plc informed the Exchange that it has obtained the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities & Exchange Commission’s approval-in-principle for the proposed scheme of merger between Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc.

The next step is to obtain the approval of  shareholders of both banks at a court ordered meeting, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.

Further details will be communicated to the market upon relevant approvals from shareholders and regulators.

NEM Insurance Plc

NEM Insurance Plc Friday announced that AFIG funds had acquired a 29.9% stake in the firm, and is now the single largest individual shareholder. AFIG is a private equity firm, with other portfolio companies in Nigeria.

AFG, may have acquired shares hitherto held by the VFD Group and other key investors.

No word yet

Etranzact International this week held an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) to obtain shareholders approval to raise N7 billion in fresh capital. The company is yet to issue a notice following the meeting.

A rights issue in view

Sovereign Trust Insurance, through its stockbroker, Dynamic Portfolio Limited, submitted an application to the Nigerian Stock Exchange for the approval and listing of a rights issue of 4,170,411,648 ordinary shares of N0.50 each at N0.50 per share, on the basis of 1 new share for every 2 ordinary shares held.

The qualification date for the rights issue was Tuesday, 15 January, 2019.

The company had at an EGM held in September 2017, obtained shareholders approval to raise fresh capital.

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