To expand its operations, off-set existing loans, and position the company for international operations, Fidson Healthcare Plc, has concluded arrangements to raise about N6 billion in fresh capital.
To this end, the indigenous pharmaceutical firm quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has obtained shareholders’ approval to raise the needed fund either by way of rights issue, public offer or private/special placement of shares at a date to be determined by its board of directors.
At the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos recently, shareholders also unanimously endorsed the proposal to increase the company’s authorised share capital to 1.5 billion up from 1.2 billion, just as all other proposals incidental to the fund raising were unanimously approved.
Shareholders also unanimously endorsed the board’s proposal for alteration of the company’s Articles of Association increasing the number of directors to not more than 12, from 10 and not below two.
Presenting the proposal for a capital raise, the company’s Chairman, Mr. Felix Ohiwerei, who also announced his retirement from the board, stated that the fresh capital would be used to strengthen the company’s operations.
Commenting on what the funds would be used for, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Fidelis Ayebae, said “the first thing is to liquidate all loans with interest charges above 15 per cent and to use the money for expanding capacity in the new factory. “The new factory we have is five times bigger than the old factory. We are going to fully equip the factory in line with current global manufacturing practice (GMP),” said Ayebae.
According to him, paying off the existing loans would bring down the heavy costs incurred by the company as interest charges, stressing that “by the time we are looking at the annual financial report again next year, we will be looking at interest charges that are less than N500 million.”