By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos –
Unilever Nigeria Plc has listed additional 1.96 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo on the Daily Official List of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The additional shares arose from Unilever’s rights issue of 1.96 ordinary shares of 50 kobo at N30 per share in the ratio of 14 new shares for every 27 shares held as at June 28, 2017 at N30 per share.
With this listing of 1.96 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Unilever Nigeria Plc has now increased from 3.78 billion to 5.75 billion ordinary shares.
The Company recently raised the sum of N58.85 billion rights issue, which was 120 percent subscribed. Unilever Nigeria stated that the proceeds of the rights issue would deepen the company’s capital to ensure financial flexibility and to repay foreign exchange liabilities.
Recently the managing director of Unilever Nigeria, Mr. Yaw Nsarkoh at the facts behind issue of the Company on the NSE said that the N58.85 billion net proceeds of the offer would enable the company to exploit value creation opportunities for enhanced return on investment.
“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,’’ he said.
Nsarkoh stated that the rights issue was part of the company’s long-term strategic intent to strengthen capital base by deleveraging its balance sheet, adding that the offer would strengthen the company’s working capital needs and position it to exploit value accretive opportunities.
Also, chair of the Company, His Royal Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, described the rights issue as a milestone in Unilever Nigeria’s history as it marked the first follow-on equity offering since listing in 1973.
Achebe said that the rights issue reiterated 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 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,’’ Achebe said.
The chief executive officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema said that the company had indicated in NSE filling that funds raised from this offer would be used to repay their foreign currency denominated obligation, purchase additional raw materials and finance its working capital.
He stated that the offer demonstrate the strong confidence the issuer had on the depth of the capital market, stating that the issue demonstrated the confidence both domestic and foreign investors had in Nigeria’s economy and the capital market in general.
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