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Shareholders reject shares listing,Geo-Fluids plans N2bn capital raising

Peter Egwuatu
Geo-Fluids Plc has  disclosed plan to raise N2 billion fresh funds from the Nigerian capital market in order to boost its working capital, even as shareholders opposed  plan by its Board of Directors to list the company’s shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Managing Director/CEO, Geo-Fluids Plc, Dr. Ala Ibinabo , in an interview with Vanguard during the company’s 7th Annul General Meeting (AGM) and first as a Public Liability Company (PLC) held in Port Harcourt on Tuesday said, “ We plan to raise fresh capital by way of mixture of rights issue, equity and corporate bonds respectively. All these financial engineering  will be work out by our financial advisers and other parties concerned by first quarter 2010.”

Continuing, he said, “ To reposition the company for the challenges and competition in the oil industry we need additional capital to help boost our working capital. We recently acquired  two new vessels in line with our on-going expansion agenda.”

Speaking to shareholders at the meeting, Ibinabo disclosed that the Board has proposed a bonus share of one for fifteen, indicating that every shareholder with fifteen shares will get one additional share.

According to him, “We have plans to list our shares on the NSE by first quarter of 2010. We would have listed before now but for the global meltdown we had to hold on.”

Meanwhile, shareholders at the AGM opposed to the listing of the company’s shares on the Exchange.

Speaking, Mr. Godwin Anono, Chairman, Professional Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) said, “We advise the company to be patient on the issue of listing our shares on the NSE considering the situation in the market.

We don’t want the value of our shares to be diluted and become nothing to write home about. The company should be cautious of listing now and consider the timing very important.”

Another shareholder, Ifeanyi Ezeonu, corroborated, saying, “ This is not the best time to list our shares on the NSE. We the shareholders are not in a hurry to get our shares listed. We want the directors to grow this company further until such a time that is ripe to list the company’ shares.”

At the AGM, some of the existing directors were re-elected, while three new audit members representing the shareholders were elected to join the other existing shareholders.

Speaking at the meeting, the company’s Chairman, Chief Odoliyi Lolomari, explained that despite stiff competition and challenges in the economy, the company in 2008, acquired, improved and commissioned  new operation facility at  Government Reservation Area (GRA) in Port Harcourt

Other major achievements, according to Lolomari,  include, expansion of mud plants capacity from 7500bbls to 22,000bbls,  which indicated the company’s   readiness to handle more complex and larger exploration operation.

He also told shareholders that the company developed and commission new expanded warehouse facility at East-west road, Port Harcourt.

 According to him , “ For the financial year ended December 31, 2008,  Geo-Fluids declared N2.9 billion turnover as against N1.2 billion recorded in 2007. Shareholders fund also increased from N1.6 billion in 2007 to N6.3 billion within the period under review.

The company has also diversified its operations as part of measures to face various challenges in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy.

  The annual report revealed that within the period under review , gross profit went up from N869.5 million in 2007 to N1.6 billion in 2007 while profit after tax stood at N544.4 million in 2008 as against N373.9 million in 2007.

 In August this year, the company said it commissioned a branch in Ghana , adding that plans are underway to debut in Angola , Gabon , Cameroon among others in line with the company’s policy of becoming a “truly international company.”


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