By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
C & I Leasing Plc on Wednesday expressed optimism that the emergence of Peace Mass Transit as the company’s majority shareholder would bring enhanced value creation for all its stakeholders.
Mr Andrew Otike-Odibi, the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, gave the assurance at a virtual meeting on the loan stock acquisition by Peace Mass Transit Ltd.
Otike-Odibi said that the impact of the acquisition would be positive for all the company’s stakeholders.
C&I Leasing had on Tuesday notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public of the purchase of 313,326,316 units of the Neoma Africa Fund L.L.C unsecured variable coupon redeemable convertible loan stock in registered units of N4.75 each by Peace Mass Transit Ltd.
The loan stock, when fully converted, will result in the issuance of 987,500,000 ordinary shares of the company which will represent 55.82 per cent of the issued shares of the company.
“C & I Leasing is 30 years, and in 30 years we have seen some board changes, we have seen a significant management change, where the former managing director handed over to the current managing director.
“C & I Leasing is going into yet another change. I will say that taking the business on its own, business structure and business model is very solid, the ownership of the business can only add value to that structure and that model.
“So, for the minority shareholders, I did not see any fear or any concern.
“Rather, I see a reason for value enhancement in the sense that the impact of this acquisition will be positive for all the stakeholders of the company,” he said.
He said that the company’s business model would not change with the coming on board of Peace Mass Transit.
“We will likely finetune the model to make it more rewarding to shareholders,” Otike-Odibi said.
Speaking on the loan conversion into equity, he said it would be concluded before the end of the first quarter.
He said that Peace Mass shareholding, after the conversion, would be in the region of 67 per cent.
Otike-Odibi said that Peace Mass bought some stake in the company during its rights issue of 2019, while the loan stock is 55.82 per cent.
He said that the purchase and eventual conversion of the shares would strengthen the company’s credentials in raising new equities.
“We see this as a new road into inviting more equity to the business; one of the things that have held the company back from raising additional equity has been the loan stock issue.
“With the loan stock being converted to equity now, it now helps the company to open up to raise additional equity,” he said.
On outlook for 2021, Otike-Odibi said that COVID-19 had brought out new opportunities for the company.
He said that the company would play more on digital space due to the emerging opportunities in the technology space brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The managing director said the company would create new businesses from the array of opportunities that came out from COVID-19. (NAN)