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Honeywell Flour Mills Refutes Ecobank Winding Up Proceeding Claims, Assures Investors of Total Transparency

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Honeywell Flour Mill Factory - Investors King

Following media reports that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) is a subject of an ongoing winding up proceedings instituted by Ecobank Nigeria Limited in a suit no: FHC/L/CP/1571/2015, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc has now refuted the publication, insisting there is no winding-up petition against the embattled company.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Yewande Giwa, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.

It said “It is pertinent to set the record straight that there is no Winding-up Petition currently pending or live against HFMP in any Court in Nigeria. There is also no pending Court Order restraining trading in the shares of HFMP or inhibiting HFMP or its owners from dealing in its assets. HFMP assures its investors, regulators and stakeholders that in all of its engagements with FMN, it received independent legal advice and asserts that the transaction is not in breach of any subsisting Order of Court. The issue as to whether HFMP is indebted to Ecobank is still before the Courts and the final decision remains the exclusive preserve of the Courts. It is also important to state that the Court of Appeal judgement being referred to in the reports did not declare HFMP to be indebted to Ecobank.”

This was in response to a publication titled “Ecobank Warns against Acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills, Alleges Company Facing Winding Up Proceedings” that claimed Ecobank Nigeria Limited had issued a 7-day ultimatum to Flour Mills to desist from completing the acquisition of 71.69 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on the ground that the company was hugely indebted to Ecobank.

However, Honeywell claimed “The assertions lack merit, were written in bad faith and are a deliberate attempt to undermine a transaction that will result in substantial benefit to the Nigerian economy and entrench the collaboration of two publicly quoted companies. As a responsible corporate citizen, we have entered the transaction with FMN having taken all legal issues into consideration.

“All stakeholders are hereby assured that management of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc will continue to act in the best interests of all concerned and work diligently to preserve value for all its shareholders.

“We expect that from the proposed combination, stakeholders will benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP and their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population. The country and its food security agenda will benefit from both companies’ focus on developing Nigeria’s industrial capability, its agricultural value chain and specifically backward integration of the food industry.”

This whole drama started immediately Honeywell Flour Mills and Flour Mills of Nigeria, in a joint statement, announced FMN has agreed to acquire a 71.69 percent stake valued at N80 billion in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. A deal that will automatically make Honeywell Flour Mills Plc Flour Mills of Nigeria’s asset.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Kogi Government Seals Dangote’s Largest Cement Factory

The largest cement factory in Nigeria owned by Aliko Dangote, the richest black man, has been shut down by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) for tax evasion and acquisition controversy.

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The largest cement factory in Nigeria owned by Aliko Dangote, the richest black man, has been shut down by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) for tax evasion and acquisition controversy.

A staff, who works at Dangote Cement factory in Obajana, Kogi State, confirmed the development, saying “in fact, I’m on my way home as we speak”.

The decision, which was obviously backed by the Kogi State House of Assembly, was supported by Kingsley Fanwo, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, who said the decision was taken after an investigation was conducted into the acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote.

He said: “Pursuant to the Constitutional authorities of the Kogi State House of Assembly, and upon petition by the people of Kogi State, an investigation was carried out on the acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Company.

“It was found that no valid acquisition took place, as Dangote could not show evidence of what was paid as consideration for the acquisition.

“The legislators invited the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote, before the house for explanations but he failed to appear before the state assembly, giving excuses.

“The House of Assembly, therefore, ordered the closure of the company pending when they are able to present it with credible evidence of a valid acquisition.”

The cement factory was estimated at 16.25Mta capacity across five lines of production, making it the largest cement factory in Nigeria.

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NNPCL Acquires 380 Oando Retail Stations Among Other Assets

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has acquired all 380 Oando retail outlets among other assets which include eight Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants and three lube blending plants. 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has acquired all 380 Oando retail outlets among other assets which include eight Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants and three lube blending plants. 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has acquired OVH Energy, a major downstream player in the oil and gas industry.

OVH Energy (OVH) Limited owns Onado and operates all the Oando- branded retail service stations across the country.

Speaking at the unveiling of one of the new NNPC Ltd stations formerly Oando in Abuja on Saturday, the Group Chief Executive Officer NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, said, “The acquisition will bring over 380 additional filling stations under NNPC Retail brand in Nigeria and Togo”. 

He added that NNPC Limited has a target to attain 1,500 retail oil stations. The recently rebranded company aims to be the largest petroleum product retail network in Africa.

“It is absolutely not about assets, we are building relationships. At this moment, we are the largest downstream company in Nigeria and by this merger.  We are also likely going to be the largest downstream company in Africa.” the GCEO, Mele Kyari stated.

Other assets acquired under the OVH Energy deal include a reception jetty (ASPM) with 240,000 metric tons monthly capacity. The deal also included eight Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants, three lubes blending plants, three aviation depots, and 12 warehouses. 

Investors King could recall that the passage of the Petroleum Industrial Act, 2021 has transformed NNPC into NNPC Limited. 

Hence NNPCL is expected to operate as a commercial and profit-focused company. Unlike NNPC which ran for the government by remitting to the Federation Account, NNPCL has no mandate to do so.

The acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing Limited by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is considered a landmark deal as NNPCL is set to refocus into retail oil marketing. 

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Mobility Company Uber Increases Fares in Lagos Due to Unfriendly Economic Conditions

Mobility company Uber via an email recently disclosed to its drivers that it was increasing its fares in Lagos.

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Mobility company Uber via an email recently disclosed to its drivers that it was increasing its fares in Lagos.

The company disclosed that this increase in price was necessitated by unfriendly economic conditions, coupled with the increase in the price of fuel which will take effect on October 3, 2022.

According to the email sent, the base fare will increase from ₦340 ($0.78) to ₦450 ($1.04), while the minimum and per minute fare will go from ₦600 ($1.38) to ₦650 ($1.50) and ₦14 ($0.03) to ₦16 ($0.03), respectively.

This is not the first time the mobility company is increasing its fare, it should be recalled that on May 10, 2021 Investors King reported that Uber was increasing its fares by 13 percent in Lagos. According to the company, the increase was to ensure a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners.

However, the company’s recent decision to once again increase its fares in Lagos may come as a surprise to users but it is in line with its activities in other countries where it has operations.

Lagos is not the only city that has witnessed an increase in fares. In August 2022, Bloomberg reported Uber was increasing its fares in London by 5%, with plans to do the same in other cities across the United Kingdom. 

Uber has not been the only ride-hailing player to increase its prices. A report by Rakuten Intelligence revealed that the cost of a ride on ride-hailing apps had increased 98% between 2018 and 2021, driven partly by a shortage of drivers.

But in recent times, the company has begun pushing for profitability. In an email to employees in May 2022, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “we have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big.” The result of that has been an increase in fares.

However, in 2017 Uber reduced its fare shortly after Taxify, a growing competitor did the same. The company sent a message to its drivers via a mail which reads, “As of today, Uber has reduced fares by 40% in Lagos. This means you can travel for business or explore your city for less than ever before”.

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