HealthPlus Founder Bukky George and Alta Semper, the foreign Investor that invested $18 million In the company in Leadership Battle
HealthPlus Limited, one of Nigeria’s major integrated pharmacies, is enmeshed in a leadership tussle as a foreign Private Equity firm, Alta Semper, that invested $18 million in the company two years ago is pushing for a complete takeover and has terminated the appointment of Mrs. Bukky George, the Chief Executive Officer and the original founder of the company.
In a letter signed by two directors, Afsane Jetha and Zachary Fond, the majority of the company’s board on September 25, 2020 issued an instruction appointing one Mr Chidi Okoro as the new chief transformation officer to provide interim leadership for HealthPlus Limited.
The statement reads, “The difficult decision was made in full compliance with Nigerian law and following a long and drawn-out process of engagement, through which the board sought to address multiple issues with the way the company was being managed.
“Despite a series of significant breaches of the terms of Mrs George’s engagement as CEO, the board explored a range of options that would enable her to continue to play an alternate leadership role.”
The statement also said a larger number of the board determined that a change of leadership was necessary for HealthPlus to achieve its strategic goals.
It said, “Mrs George continues to serve on the board, while Mr Okoro oversees the day-to-day operations of the company.
“The decision of Alta Semper Capital to acquire majority control of HealthPlus in 2018 and its belief in the company’s potential to become a market leader, not just in Nigeria, but across the continent, is a testament to the strength of the HealthPlus brand.”
However, another statement titled ‘Attempted hostile takeover by foreign private equity firm’ and signed by the management of the company said the announcement is false, wrongful and should be ignored.
It said, “It is the handiwork of unscrupulous foreign and local businesswoman and businessmen intent on reaping where they have not sown simply because they now see opportunities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is instructive to note that the chairman of the board of directors resigned two days ago and another director resigned five weeks ago. Both gentlemen had been displeased and frustrated by the impasse and its debilitating effect on the company, its fortunes, employees and, above all, the sheer injustice occasioned by it all.”
“Mrs Bukky George founded and grew HealthPlus against the odds to the household brand that it is today. She continues to run the company as founder and Chief Executive Officer.”
The management said in 2018 HealthPlus limited decided to partner with Alta Semper Capital to grow the company through fresh capital injection but since the deal was signed, it has been problematic.
According to them, the private equity company was to exit HealthPlus after five years as stated in the agreement reached two years ago. They also stated that George was ready to give a controlling stake to Alta Semper in order for the company to realise its investment.
“Unbeknown to Mrs George and HealthPlus Nigeria, the collaboration was doomed from the beginning because of the greed of the owners of Alta Semper and their ulterior motive of hijacking a thriving pharmaceutical concern in Nigeria,” it added.
Heirs Oil & Gas Announces CEO and Board Appointments
Heirs Oil & Gas (HHOG), the leading African integrated energy company, has announced the appointment of Osayande Igiehon as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 4, 2021, together with a distinguished non-executive board, bringing together leading industry figures, with considerable global and regional experience.
Heirs Holdings Limited’s (HH) portfolio company, HHOG, completed the acquisition of OML17 in January 2021, in one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of US$1.1 billion. The transaction represents a further implementation of the HH Group strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa. Through a series of strategic portfolio holdings, HH is executing this strategy. Most recently, affiliate company, Transcorp made a US$300 million acquisition of Afam Power, increasing the Group’s installed electricity generating capacity to 2,000MW.
Mr. Igiehon, who joins from the Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), where he was previously a Vice-President with the Group in the Hague, Netherlands. He brings over twenty-seven years of experience and expertise in the oil and gas sector with Shell, where he held a series of senior management positions. Mr. Igiehon previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shell Gabon, where he led the successful turnaround of the operational, safety and financial performance.
HHOG is also pleased to announce the appointment of the following distinguished private sector and senior industry leaders to the Board:
- Tony O. Elumelu, CON is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
- Sally Udoma who previously served as general counsel for Chevron Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East Exploration and Production. Previously, she was general counsel for Sasol Chevron Consulting Limited and managing counsel at the London Legal Service Centre for Chevron Global Upstream and Gas. She has also served as general counsel and general manager for Chevron Nigeria Limited.
- Anil Dua is a founding partner at Gateway Partners Limited, a private equity fund specialising in dynamic growth markets including Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to this, Mr. Dua worked for over thirty-five years with Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US, where he held various roles including Regional CEO West Africa and Regional Head of Origination and Client Coverage, Africa.
- Ahmadu Kida Musa who previously served as Deputy Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, has over thirty-two years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry and brings considerable expertise in Nigerian oil and gas.
- Stanley Lawson currently serves on the board of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. He is Managing Partner at Financial Advisory & Investment Consultants Ltd. Dr Lawson previously occupied the position of Group Executive Director-Finance & Accounts at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
- Samuel Nwanze is the Chief Finance Officer at Heirs Oil and Gas. Prior to this he was the Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings responsible for investment and capital management.
Commenting, Mr. Igiehon stated: “HHOG represents an extraordinary opportunity, to create Africa’s first true integrated energy company, with a mission to ensure that Africa’s natural resources are directed toward value creation in Africa, powered by sustainable, robust and abundant African energy. I am excited to join the Heirs Oil and Gas leadership team and look forward to the opportunity to transform the energy sector, purposefully address Africa’s energy needs and improve the lives of people across Africa.”
The Chairman of the Board, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated: “I am delighted to welcome our new board members. We are building a role model institution for African businesses and our investment in human capital is a further strong demonstration of our intent. The regional and global expertise of our board members will serve to further drive value creation to our continent, as we execute our goal of becoming Africa’s largest, indigenous, integrated, energy company.”
CHI Limited Celebrates Its Maiden Hollandia Dairy Day
Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Hollandia, is set to hold the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. The event which will be celebrated on the 18th of May 2021 will provide a veritable platform to drive the national discourse on the unrivaled health and nutrition benefits of dairy consumption to people of all ages.
Set to be hosted as a conference, the theme of this year’s event is “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living”, and it focuses on the vital role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment, its benefit to our overall health, and why dairy products should be included in our diets every day.
This conference, which is designed as a hybrid of the physical and virtual events, will feature presentations, interviews and panel discussions from health experts and nutritionists as they provide insights and share perspectives to guide informed decisions about dairy consumption as part of a daily balanced diet. The event is opened to the public through the brand’s multiple social media platforms.
According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 2019, Nigeria has low dairy consumption levels per head – 15 to 20 liters per capita consumption. This is partly attributable to the low purchasing power of the average Nigerian household, who rank milk and dairy products as non-essential luxuries and prioritize other staple foods such as rice, beans, and yam.
By provoking the conversations and stimulating public action/intervention, Hollandia aims to drive consciousness for dairy consumption and its importance to achieving optimum health, and to get many more Nigerians drinking, using, and consuming dairy products.
The past year has presented unprecedented shocks and disruptions, including a global COVID-19 pandemic. As communities throughout the world look for ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, maintaining and boosting good health is top of mind for many. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins A and D, Zinc and Protein, which support immune function.
The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.
Nokia Launches Blockchain-Powered Data Marketplace For Secure Data Trading and AI Models
Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia Data Marketplace as-a-service to facilitate secure sharing of data and AI models, enabling digital transformation and data monetization for enterprises.
As data volumes continue to surge, AI and machine learning are increasingly crucial in business decision making. Nokia Data Marketplace is designed to help enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs) use data in strategic decision making, by providing real-time access to massive trusted datasets.
The new service also enables enterprises and CSPs to become data marketplace providers themselves, by monetizing data exchanges between customers or business ecosystem participants.
Nokia Data Marketplace ensures trusted data exchange and authorization mechanisms. This enables a wide range of vertical use cases, including electric vehicle charging, environmental data monetization, supply-chain automation and preventative maintenance powering numerous vertical segments, including transportation, ports, energy, smart cities and healthcare.
Friedrich Trawoeger, Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Services at Nokia, said: “Our customers need secure and trusted access to data for effective business decision making. With Nokia Data Marketplace, enterprises and CSPs can now benefit from richer insights and predictive models to drive digital ways of working and tap into new revenue streams.”
Nokia Data Marketplace accelerates AI initiatives through federated learning. This approach, combined with orchestration capabilities, facilitates the collaborative development of highly accurate machine learning models for analytics use cases. It also meets the growing demand for a platform that can efficiently apply AI and machine learning algorithms to in situ data.
Nokia Data Marketplace complements Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), which offers global IoT connectivity and vertical applications. For example, Nokia WING’s asset tracking solution is enriched by Nokia Data Marketplace’s blockchain to provide secure and automated data exchange and transactions between logistics’ ecosystem partners for faster turnaround.*
Kaladhar Voruganti, Senior Fellow, Office of the CTO at Equinix, said: “Nokia Data Marketplace combined with Equinix data centers allows organizations to share data and algorithms globally at more than 240 metro edge locations. Our Metal platform augments this to provide secure, proximate, on-demand infrastructure to enterprises and government agencies. Sharing and processing of data close to its point of creation mitigate issues related to latency, compliance, and network backhaul cost. These neutral and secure edge locations are connected via high-speed and secure networks to data sources spanning across public clouds, private enterprise data centers and data brokers.”
Wouter van Neerbos, Chief Executive Officer at Marlin, said: “Through automated data exchange among shipping participants, Nokia brings us the transparency and operational efficiency required in our global marine supply chain. This reduces waiting time for shipping participants in the marine ecosystem, enables faster turnaround for ships, and reduces our costs.”
Justin van der Lande, the Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, said: “Data is the energy needed to run all future business; critical to their success in creating the best AI-based insights and needs access to the largest data sets. Data sharing between enterprise partners is vital in building complete data sets. Facilitating data sharing using a secure platform, such as Nokia’s blockchain-based Data Marketplace, accelerates enterprises’ building of new data sets and creates richer business partnerships for them.”
Nokia is leading the development of security, privacy, and trust mechanisms as part of a consortium that was recently awarded the DEDICAT 6G project by the European Union. Nokia Data Marketplace inclusion in this project focuses on creating an AI and blockchain-enabled security framework and trust management platform for IoT applications running on B5G (Beyond 5G) networks.
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