The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) never delays to impose sanctions on NSE-listed companies, especially when such companies flout listing rules. But despite these sanctions, some corporates cannot seem to get their acts together. Instead, they continually disobey the rules, and as such, repeatedly appear on the X-Compliance Report. One of such companies is Evans Medical Plc, Nairametrics’ company focus for the week.
What is happening to Evans Medical Plc makes for a curious case of corporate governance breakdown. It is rather outrageous that the company has not disclosed its financial records since July 2016. Even at that, the last result released was for Q3 2015. As if that couldn’t be any worse, trading activities on the company’s shares have been non-existent for a while now; leaving the share price in a limbo –N0.50.
So, what is happening to Evans Medicals Plc? Why has it not made its mandatory financial disclosure (as a quoted company) for three consecutive years? Has it not been earning revenue/profit over the past three years? Is the company even still in business?
This article will attempt to answer the questions above. After all, this is a column that avails potential investors the opportunity to know more about small-capitalised, little-known companies that are listed on the Nigerian bourse. In the meantime, let us start with a little overview of the pharmaceutical company. Shall we?
About Evans Medical Plc: Business model, incorporation, and listing on the NSE
As a pharmaceutical company, Evans Medical Plc is in the business of manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising pharmaceutical products, mostly drugs. These drugs are both over the counter and prescriptive in nature, and cater to such important areas of medical needs as the following:
• Erectile dysfunction drugs
• Vitamins and minerals
• Cold and cough medications
• Haematinics and blood forming preparations
• Prostagladins, etc.
The company, which is based in Lagos Nigeria, was initially incorporated in 1954 under the trading name “Glaxo Nigeria Plc”. But in 1994, its name was changed to Evans Medical plc. Note that this name change occurred fifteen years after the company was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1979. In other words, Evans Medical Plc has been on the NSE for at least forty years.
But in light of the company’s incessant corporate governance issues, coupled with its shrinking shares outstanding (732,347,370) and a market capitalisation (N366.1 million) due to investors’ disinterest, it could just be a matter of time before its time on the NSE finally comes to an end.
Who is the company’s target market?
It is a no-brainer that as a pharmaceutical company which produces both over the counter and prescriptive drugs, Evans Medical Plc’s primary target market is comprised almost entirely of sick people. Now, seeing as Nigeria’s population is estimated at nearly 200 million people (some of whom fall sick ever so often), this presents immense opportunities for the company to meet needs in exchange for value. But it has been unable to do this, at least judging by its repeated failure to disclose its financials. And this might as well be as a result of growing competition.
A look at the company’s competition
As it can be expected, Nigeria has a vibrant and highly-competitive pharmaceutical industry. Top players in this industry include the likes of GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc, Pharma Dekko Plc, May & Baker Plc, and Emzor Pharmaceuticals Limited, etc.
Out of the lot, Fidson Healthcare Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc are market leaders. These companies pose the biggest competitive threat Evans Medical Plc has to grapple with.
These individuals comprise the company’s board
Available records show that Evans Medical Plc has about 331 employees. But out of this number, only about twelve members of the company’s board of directors get to make key decisions affecting the coy. These individuals are:
- Alhaji Ahmad Damcida
- Chief Olubunmi Olopa,
- Chief Saifudeen Ademola Edu,
- Mr Adegboyega A. Ademiluyi
- Mr Lawrence Fubara Anga
- Mr Adeoye Oyewo
- Mr ADEWALE Oyenuga
- Mr Michael Ajufo
- Mr Sola Ogunwale
- Mr Victor Eburajolo
- Mrs Teniola Aluko
- Mrs Titilope Bamidele Adeyemi
NSE’s sanctions and other troubles faced by the company
As earlier mentioned, the Nigerian Stock Exchange has, on numerous occasions, imposed sanctions on Evans Medical Plc. These sanctions are mainly due to the company’s repeated failure to release its quarterly and annual financial results as expected of all listed companies on the Exchange.
In 2017, the Nigerian Stock Exchange decided to place the pharmaceutical company on its delisting watch list, subject to when all the necessary compliance reports are filed. But none of those reports have been filed till date, even as the company has remained on the delisting watch list.
Meanwhile, it is important to mention that according to the company’s last released full-year financial report (2014), it had a total outstanding loan of N5.7 billion. These loans were owed banks, including FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, Bank of Industry, and the now defunct Skye Bank Plc. Due to the debt, a Federal High Court gave an injunction in 2017 for Skye Bank Plc to seize the pharmaceutical company’s assets which were used as collaterals.
What is the future of the company?
Leading audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had in 2014 disclosed that it was uncertain whether Evans Medical Plc would be able to continue to exist as a going concern. This is due to its debt issues, profitability issues, and corporate governance.
Seeing as these issues have persisted (if not worsened almost five years later), the likelihood of PwC’s projection might just come to pass sooner than later.