SEC, NSE approve Unilever’s N58.9bn rights issue

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Stanley Opara

Unilever Nigeria Plc has received clearance of the issue documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Stock Exchange in respect of its N55.9bn rights issue. This followed its shareholders’ initial approval received in May.

The transaction is part of the company’s strategy to drive sustained and steady growth despite the prevailing economic headwinds, according to a statement.

The company plans to raise N58,851,275,010 by way of rights issue to existing shareholders, on the basis of 14 new shares for every 27 shares held by shareholders, whose names appeared in the register of members of the company as at June 28, 2017 at an issue price of N30 per share.

At the signing ceremony held at Unilever Nigeria’s head office in Lagos, on July 13, 2017, the Managing Director of Unilever Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh, said, “Through this rights issue, we will be able to reinforce our financial flexibility to support our growth initiative and also give shareholders an opportunity to consolidate their shareholding position.

“The proceeds of the rights issue will be used to repay our outstanding foreign currency denominated liabilities, purchase additional raw materials required for our products and to meet other working capital requirements in other to build long term value for all stakeholders.”

The Chairman, Unilever Nigeria, HRM Nnaemeka Achebe, also commented, saying, “The rights issue reiterates our confidence in Unilever Nigeria’s robust future and commitment to building a more enduring business in the Nigerian market”

Speaking at the end of the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Funso Atere, commended the management of Unilever Nigeria for the commitment they had shown towards executing the rights issue and for giving Stanbic IBTC Capital a free hand to guide the process. Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited is acting for Unilever Nigeria as issuing house for the rights issue.

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