…Urges shareholders to support process
By Chinenye Anuforo
Unilever Nigeria Plc., yesterday, presented facts behind its plans to raise N58,851,275,010 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.
At the briefing, the management said total of 1,961,709,167 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered to existing shareholders on the basis of 14 new ordinary shares for every 27 ordinary shares held by shareholders whose names appeared on the Register of Members and transfer books of Unilever Nigeria Plc as at the close of business on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The issue price is N30 per share.
The offer, which opened on Monday, July 31, 2017, will close on Friday, September 8, 2017, with Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited serving as the issuing house.
On reasons for the rights issue, Unilever explained that the net proceeds will help the company repay outstanding foreign currency denominated liabilities, purchase additional raw materials required for Unilever’s products and to meet other working capital requirements in order to build long term value for all stakeholders.
Recall that shareholders of the company approved the rights issue at the 92nd Annual General Meeting in May 2017. “Through this rights issue, we will be able to reinforce our financial flexibility to support our growth initiative, while giving shareholders an opportunity to consolidate their shareholding position.
The rights issue is part of Unilever Nigeria’s long term strategic intent to strengthen the company’s capital base by deleveraging its balance sheet, support its working capital needs and position the company to exploit value accretive opportunities,” said Yaw Nsarkoh, Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc.
In his remark, the Chairman, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Nnaemeka Achebe, stated that the rights issue represents a milestone event in Unilever Nigeria’s history as it marks the company’s first follow-on equity offering since its listing in 1973.
According to Achebe, “the rights issue reiterates our confidence in Unilever Nigeria’s robust future and commitment to building a more enduring business in Nigeria. We acknowledge with deep appreciation the unwavering support we have received from our stakeholders and shareholders even in trying times, which has enabled us to deliver positive results. We urge all shareholders to support the company’s objective by participating in the rights issue to ensure the company obtains the flexibility to attain its growth objectives.”