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N21bn Dividend: NB, Shareholders Clash

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Nigerian Breweries PLC
  • N21bn Dividend: NB, Shareholders Clash

Shareholders of Nigerian Breweries Plc, NB, and the Board of Directors are on a collision path over the plan by the company to convert the N21 billion cash dividend earlier proposed by the directors to ordinary shares.

A cross section of shareholders, who spoke on the matter said they have resolved to vote against the motion when it comes up for approval at the Annual General Meeting, AGM, tomorrow.

According to them, the case has been reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, for intervention.

Investigation revealed that the directors would still push the proposal successfully given their majority stake in the event the face off leads to a pool. It is not yet clear if the regulatory authorities are stepping in to douse the tension.

The NB’s Board of Directors had proposed N20.5 billion as final dividend, amounting to cash dividend of N2.58 per share, for the year ended December 2016. But the company later said it will seek shareholders approval at the AGM tomorrow to convert the cash dividend to scrip issue. According to the company, the conversion will help it to consolidate on its balance sheet.

But speaking to reporters, the shareholders insisted that dividend payment is their right and must be paid once it is declared.

Sir Sunny Nwosu, former National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, opined that the move is a ploy by the directors to increase their stake in the company as a first step towards eventual exit from the Exchange.

“We are totally against it because it is taking undue advantage of Nigerians. We are all aware that we are in recession and everybody needs every kobo; the directors do not need the dividend and, therefore, they want to use the scrip issue to increase their holding in the company. Whether it is one per cent or 001 per cent that the scrip issue will add to us as shareholders, it is not desirable to us.

“What they are saying is that they could not transfer their dividend. But they have been transferring their dividend for 70 years, so, why don’t they bear with us at this time of difficulty. It would have been better if they had not declared the dividend and allow the interim dividend to remain as the final dividend than declaring dividend and at the same time complaining that they want to plough back the money. It then means that the dividend declared can be classified as fake dividend,” Nwosu added.

Heric Akinduro, Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, said shareholders should be allowed to make a choice between converting their dividend to ordinary shares or going home with their dividend. “For those that have excess money, they can increase their holding, but for those that do not have, they should give them cash,” he said.

Agreeing with others, Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, NDSA, said: “We are totally against it. Once a company has declared dividend, it should keep to it. We are after our dividend because most of us have reduction in our purchasing power and the cash dividend will enhance our financial position and enable us to meet our obligations. This plan is not the best for us and that is why we are against it.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Appointments

Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

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Agric

Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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