- Lafarge Africa Succeeds with N89.2bn Rights Issue
Lafarge Africa Plc has successfully raised fresh capital of N89.212 billion from existing shareholders through a rights issue of N7.434 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N12.00 per share.
In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Lafarge Africa Plc said the rights issue was 100 per cent subscribed. It explained that a total of 1,826 applications for 7,434,367,256 ordinary shares were accepted and were found valid under the terms of the issue and were processed accordingly.
The N89.2 billion rights issue was the company’s second issue within two years having raised N132 billion the previous year. The company had raised that capital by issuing 3.1 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N42.50 per share.
Shareholders of the company had last September approved the raising of fresh capital in line with the firm’s refinancing plan. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Bruno Bayet, had said the a refinancing plan was aimed at preparing it for future development in Nigeria, improving the company’s leverage as well as strengthen its profitability.
The Chairman of Lafarge Africa, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun had the additional capital to be raised will further help to deleverage the company’s balance sheet and provide head room for the expansion of our business.”
According to him, the board of directors is mindful of the support of all our shareholders through the difficult but necessary journey to transform the company into a more agile and correctly financed business ready to benefit from the potential opportunities in Nigerian building materials (market).
He also assured shareholders that restructuring of the capital structure of the company largely completed through the past year would help to significantly reduce the cost of financing and currency translation risk.
Balogun added that the company is implementing a new route-to-market initiative aimed at supporting the anticipated growth in demand as the country gradually recovers from recession and as foreign exchange rates stabilise.
Shareholders are currently awaiting the financial performance of Lafarge Africa Plc for the full year ended December 31, 2018. The company had announced revenue of N234.30 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, up from N223.67 billion in 2017.
Loss after tax stood at N10.37 billion as against a net profit after tax of N937.91 million in comparable period of 2017.
Meanwhile, trading at the stock market resumed on negative note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 0.9 per cent to close at 31,636.66.
CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.
Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.
This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.
Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.
He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.
In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.
He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.
“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.
“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.
“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”
The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.
Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.
He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”
He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.
Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.
Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited
Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.
This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.
The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.
Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.
Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”
Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.
PwC to Add 100,000 Jobs in $12 Billion Strategic Revamp
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing $12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.
The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”
Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.
PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.
The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.
PwC has also set aside $3 billion of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.
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