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