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Is this company quietly planning exit from the NSE?

Continental Reinsurance Plc issued an update to the NSE on the proposed scheme that would allow the core investor to buy out minority shareholdings.

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Continental Reinsurance Plc, Continental Reinsurance, Here’s why Continental Reinsurance is no longer public limited liability company 

Last week, Continental Reinsurance Plc issued an update to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the investing public on the proposed scheme that would allow the company’s core investor to buy out minority shareholdings.

SEC is considering the matter- A statement signed by the company’s Legal Counsel, Ms Patricia N. Ifewulu, said the matter is being considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

SEC’s approval is important- The Securities and Exchange Commission must approve the move before it can take effect. This is part of SEC’s oversight functions as an apex regulator in the Nigerian market.

The NSE is continually being engaged – The statement also went further to state that the company will keep updating the Nigerian bourse with the latest development on the matter.

“The SEC is still reviewing the transaction file and is engaging with the company in that process. The company expects to receive the final approval in the coming weeks and will thereafter apply to the Federal High Court for the approval of the scheme.

“We will continue to update The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public with further developments on the transaction.”

What happened before now

Prior to this time, the company’s shareholders met on December 20th, 2018 to deliberate on the takeover bid by the company’s core investors. The court-ordered meeting ended with shareholders approving the proposed takeover. And subsequently, “an application was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission for final approval for the scheme.”

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A possible NSE-delisting in the horizon?

A closer examination of this development suggests that Continental Reinsurance Plc might be planning to voluntary delist from the Nigerian Stock Exchange. After all, a complete buy-out of minority shareholdings (by core investors) leaves little or no securities for trading.

In other words, there will not be need for the company’s continued stay on the NSE if its shares are majority-owned by only a few investors.

Continental Reinsurance might be considering other means of capital raise – Voluntary delisting are not new on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Every now and then, companies decide to explore other avenues of raising capital other than issuing equities.

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Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc is already on course to delist – As we reported earlier, the Management and Board of Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc also recently informed the NSE of its willingness to voluntarily delist from the Exchange. Our analysis suggested this could make the company the first to delist this year.

About Continental Reinsurance Plc

Continental Reinsurance Plc is a Nigerian insurance company which was incorporated in 1985. It is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange where its share price is currently trading at N1.90. It is a subsidiary of Continental Reinsurance Africa Limited, which also happens to comprise the core investors.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Business

HealthPlus: More facts emerge as Bukky George reveals she owns 48.9%

HealthPlus insists its founder, Bukky George owns a majority share of HealthPlus Africa Holdings.

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HealthPlus: More facts emerge as Bukky George reveals she owns 48.9%

HealthPlus says that its founder and former CEO, Mrs. Bukky George, owns 48.9% of HealthPlus Africa Holdings and that she is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.

This was revealed in a statement by HealthPlus on Tuesday, in a bid to educate the public on the squabbles going on between it and Alta Semper Capital over the removal of George as CEO, and the appointment of Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.

Nairametrics had reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer. According to the statement earlier released by the company, Okoro’s mission is to optimize day-to-day management and elevate the business to novel scale and profitability, while the founder of the Company, George continues to be a director and a shareholder.

George however, issued a counter press release, denying that she had been removed as MD/CEO. According to her, the press release was not authorized by the company and was therefore false.

Alta Semper, in a follow-up press release, alleged that the decision to remove Mrs. Bukky George “was made in full compliance with Nigerian laws, and follows a long and drawn-out process of engagement,” through which the Board sought to address multiple issues concerning the way the company was being managed.

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Health Plus also reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.

In today’s statement, HealthPlus said that it had partnered with Alta Semper Capital LLC UK in 2018 to inject fresh capital to grow the business.

“The investment in HealthPlus was to enable the company to capture the pent up demand for high quality yet affordable medicines … expand the company’s footprint across Nigeria, establish a distribution centre, develop B2B channels and e-commerce.

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“Alta Semper undertook to commit $18 million into HealthPlus whilst retaining Mrs. Bukky Geroge as CEO,” the statement partly read.

HealthPlus says that Mrs. George, at the time of the investment, transferred 95% ownership of the business to a new entity called HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited, incorporated in Mauritius, whilst retaining 5% equity to her name.

“HealthPlus Africa Holdings is owned by Mrs. Bukky George (46.2%) and Idi Holdings ( 53.8%), Idi Holdings is Alta Semper’s investment vehicle”

“In essence, Mrs. Bukky George owns (directly and indirectly) 48.9% of HealthPlus and is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.”

HealthPlus also said that Alta Semper’s initial $10 million investment achieved several initiatives in its business plan.

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“However, it soon appeared that they (Alta Semper) were unable to come up with the balance of the equity investment.”

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It argued that in May 2020, after 15 months of delayed funding, unmet expectations and dwindling inventory, “Mrs Bukky George instituted legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal high Court [in suit No: FHC/L/CS/609/2020] seeking relief aimed at stopping Alta Semper from running and managing the company.”

HealthPlus says after Alta Semper was served the court process, they did not file any defense but appealed for dispute mediation.

It was added in the statement that the mediation was truncated after 3 meetings within a period of 3 months, “Their intransigence frustrated Mrs. George’s other nominee for director and Chairman into resigning from the board”

HealthPlus’ statement cited that the board, now with just 3 directors, had not met in six months and that the last time Mrs. George heard from Alta Semper was when they wrote last week stating her termination as CEO, “which in fact they had no authority or power to do so.”

HealthPlus says Mrs. Bukky George remains the founder and CEO, and continues to run the company.

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Business

CBN launches framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria

The CBN in collaboration with EFInA has launched a framework to advance women’s financial inclusion.

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CBN, Aishah Ahmad,

The Central Bank of Nigeria on September 29, 2020, virtually launched the framework of advancing women’s financial inclusion. This was disclosed in an online event tagged “Access to Finance Framework for Women” and anchored by Dr Paul Olukpe.

The framework was conceptualized by the Financial Inclusion Special Intervention Working group and developed by the CBN in collaboration with EFInA and Women’s World Banking with input from over 50 stakeholder institutions.

The overarching vision of the framework is for Nigeria to be globally recognized, with an inclusive financial sector that has closed the gender gap by 2024. The framework further itemizes 8 strategic imperatives for driving improved access to finance for women in Nigeria.

In the online event monitored by Nairametrics, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad justified the new initiative by citing EFInA’s last report on financial inclusion in 2018 as a yardstick.

(READ MORE: Banks’ loans to private sector increase by N3.50 trillion in one year – CBN)

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Recall that EFInA 2018 Financial Inclusion report indicated gender imbalance and a clear need to attend to the issue of growing female financial exclusion. For example, the report stated that 40.9% of females were financially excluded as against 32.5% of males. Mrs. Ahmad remarked that perhaps, the figures might even be wider if unattended to especially in this period of crisis.

Mrs. Ahmad urged financial institutions to address structural issues limiting women’s access to finance by understanding and developing products that are specifically tailored to address such issues.

Why this matters

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Empirical studies have shown that supporting a stronger role or empowering women is a key enabler in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth and ensuring sustainable development. Citing ‘’The Power Parity Report by McKinsey’’, the Director of development finance department of CBN, Mr Yusuf Philip Yila, stated that the economic consequences of pursuing gender equality include a potential addition of $28trillion to global annual GDP by 2025.

This framework is a big boost to achieving SDG’s goal of gender equality and Nigeria’s financial inclusion targets simultaneously.

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Business

HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

HealthPlus has made a formal complaint to the Police following its ensuing battle with Alta Semper.

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HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

Nigerian Pharmacy Chain, HealthPlus Ltd which is in a battle for control with private equity firm Alta Semper Capital took a new twist as Health plus reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.

In a letter sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the 25th of September, HealthPlus stated, “We had the presence of unknown persons around our head office locations.”

READ: FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone

The locations stated were 4 HealthPlus branches in Lekki, Lagos.

HealthPlus stated further, “We are aware that there are unauthorized and illegal plans by certain persons to take over our company premises to steal sensitive company property and assets, and ultimately take over operations of the company”

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The 4 persons mentioned by HealthPlus are; Zachary Fond and Ivan Genadiev (both Alta Semper Directors), Ernest Eguasa, CFO of company and an unidentified middle-aged white man.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data 

Niarametrics reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.

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However, the announcement set off a chain of allegations and counter-accusations, including online media mudslinging with both sides trying to court public sympathy for who is in control of the company.

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