C&I Leasing shareholders approve $10m loan conversion to equity

C&I Leasing Plc’s shareholders have unanimously approved the conversion of a $10m loan to equity for Neoma Africa Fund (formerly Aureos African Fund).

The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting in Lagos.

The shareholders also approved the conversion of the $10m 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.

C&I Leasing had in January 2019 announced that Abraaj, the managers of the Aureos Africa Fund, agreed to convert the $10m 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, the founder, Independent Shareholders Association, Mr Sunny Nwosu, 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 added that the board of the company should work in ensuring that arrangements made would benefit all parties involved.

Also, the coordinator, Noble Shareholders, Mr Robert Egbe, called on the board and management of the company to ensure quick implementation of the conversion arrangement.

A representative of Dedicated Shareholders, Mr Adeleke Oladimeji, urged other shareholders to collaborate towards moving the company ahead.

Oladimeji noted that the company could not bear the burden of the debt again, thus called for support to the proposals.

Responding to the shareholders’ concerns, the company’s Chairman, Mr Henry Okolo, 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 added 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 and 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.

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