By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, Nov. 3, 2020 C&I Leasing Plc shareholders have unanimously approved the conversion of $10 million loan to equity for Neoma Africa Fund (formerly Aureos African Fund).
The shareholders gave the approval
at the company’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday in Lagos.
The shareholders also approved the conversion of the $10 million unsecured variable coupon redeemable convertible loan stock in registered units of N4.75 or the dollar equivalent units into 987,500,000 ordinary shares of the company.
Recall that in January 2019, C&I Leasing announced that Abraaj, the managers of the Aureos Africa Fund, agreed to convert the $10 million loan stock in the quoted company to equity.
The loan was obtained by the Nigerian firm and it matured in 2018.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, Founder, Independent Shareholders Association, urged the management to protect the interest of minority shareholders in the arrangement.
Nwosu advocated that the price should be adjusted upward from N4.75, adding that most of the shareholders purchased the shares at N6.
He said that the board of the company should work in ensuring that arrangements made would benefit all parties involved.
Also, Mr Robert Egbe, Coordinator, Noble Shareholders, called on the board and management of the company to ensure quick implementation of the conversion arrangement.
Mr Adeleke Oladimeji, representative of Dedicated Shareholders, urged other shareholders to collaborate toward moving the company ahead.
Oladimeji noted that the company could not bear the burden of the debt again, thus called for a support to the proposals.
Responding to the shareholders’ concerns, Mr Henry Okolo, the company’s Chairman, explained that the exchange rate for the conversion was pegged at N197 three years ago.
Okolo said that the present exchange rate and unit cost of the share at N3.20 was an advantage to the company.
He assured the shareholders of higher returns in the years ahead.
He said that the conversion was expected to happen before the end of the year.
“We expect that this would significantly strengthen the balance sheet of our company,” Okolo said.
C&I Leasing has been in operation for over two decades.
It has since evolved from being a simple finance leasing company licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1991 to becoming a diversified leasing and business service conglomerate providing support services to various indigenous and multinational organisations in West Africa.