By Peter Egwuatu
THE Board of Afprint Nigeria Plc last week expressed its commitment in meeting its final obligations to the minority shareholders of the company.
Afprint Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Victor Eburajolo said shareholders understanding of the scheme of arrangement to de-list and operate as a private company at the recent court ordered meeting was a serious plus for the nationâ€™s emerging economy.
On the terms of the scheme document, he disclosed that the scheme consideration cheques should have been posted to the minority shareholders but for some legal processes that needed to be finalized.
â€œAs a good corporate citizen, Afprint pledge their loyalty to the rule of law and de-listing procedure as contained in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990,â€ Eburajolo said.
He said that contrary to other opinions, CAMA requires that shareholders resolutions and approval of the scheme of arrangement at the EGM be sanction by a court and registered by the corporate affairs commission, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchane ( NSE).
Eburajolo said that while the company is prepared to pay-off shareholders within the 21 days time frame as contained in CAMA, shareholders need to understand the technicalities in context. He also promised that the shareholders will be duly informed as soon as all legal and regulatory processes are concluded.
â€œWhile we appreciate the reactions of shareholders to the scheme of arrangement, it is equally imperative that we allow the spirit and letter of the law to take its natural course,â€ he added.
Under the shareholders approved restructuring of Afprint Nigeria Plc by way of a scheme of arrangement, holders of the scheme shares and who are on the register of members of Afprint as at the terminal date shall be entitled to receive N1.50 for every 50k share held.
The scheme offer price of N1.50 which represents a premium of 74.4 per cent over the technical suspended price of 85k, according to Afprint ensures that no loss in capital value is recorded by shareholders.
Meanwhile, a cross section of shareholders have welcome the Afprint scheme of arrangement describing it as a proactive avenue to manage companies seriously challenged by the national hostile business climate.
The Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) and the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria have separately endorsed the scheme of arrangement.The National Coordinator of ISAN, Sir Sunny Nwosu said that contrary to other opinions AfprintÂ was only reacting to inherent economic problems especially in the real sector.
In his own reaction the Chairman of the Progressive Shareholders, Mr Boniface Okezie said that Afprint delisting was in the best interest of investors who have not earned dividend in the last ten years.