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Unilever Nigeria explains facts behind the rights issue

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…visits the Nigerian Stock Exchange

In view of its recently announced Rights Issue, Unilever Nigeria Plc. yesterday presented facts behind its plans to raise N58, 851,275,010.00 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos.

A total of 1,961,709,167 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered to existing shareholders on the basis of 14 new ordinary shares for every 27 ordinary shares held by shareholders whose names appeared on the Register of Members and transfer books of Unilever Nigeria Plc as at the close of business on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The issue price is N30 per share.

The offer which opened on Monday July 31, 2017 will close on Friday September 08, 2017 while Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited serves as the issuing house.

On reasons for the rights issue, Unilever explained that the net proceeds will help the company repay outstanding foreign currency denominated liabilities, purchase additional raw materials required for Unilever’s products and to meet other working capital requirements in order to build long term value for all stakeholders.

CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema; Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Yaw Nsarkoh; Finance Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Adesola Sotande-Peters and Vice President, Customer Development, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Felix Enwemadu during the Unilever Nigeria Plc., Fact Behind The Issue Presentation at the NSE in Lagos

It would be recalled that the shareholders of the Company approved the rights issue at the 92nd Annual General Meeting held in May, 2017.

“Through this rights issue, we will be able to reinforce our financial flexibility to support our growth initiative, while giving shareholders an opportunity to consolidate their shareholding position.

The Rights Issue is part of Unilever Nigeria’s long term strategic intent to strengthen the company’s capital base by deleveraging its balance sheet, support its working capital needs and position the company to exploit value accretive opportunities” said Yaw Nsarkoh Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc.

In his remark, the Chairman, Unilever Nigeria Plc, His Royal Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, stated that the Rights Issue represents a milestone event in Unilever Nigeria’s history as it marks the company’s first follow-on equity offering since its listing in 1973.

L-R: Finance Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Adesola Sotande-Peters; CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema; Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Yaw Nsarkoh; Acting Head, Corporate Services Division, NSE, Pai Gamde and Vice President, Customer Development, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Felix Enwemadu at the Closing Gong Ceremony of Unilever Nigeria Plc., Fact Behind The Issue Presentation at the NSE in Lagos

According to Achebe, “the rights issue reiterates our confidence in Unilever Nigeria’s robust future and commitment to building a more enduring business in Nigeria. We acknowledge with deep appreciation the unwavering support we have received from our stakeholders and shareholders even in trying times which has enabled us deliver positive results.

We urge all shareholders to support the company’s objective by participating in the rights issue to ensure the company obtains the flexibility to attain its growth objectives.”

Speaking at the event, the CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema said: “We are particularly pleased that Unilever Nigeria Plc., has chosen to use this platform to further inform the market of this ongoing transaction and other strategic and operational involvement in the company.

As the market is driven by timely, relevant and accurate information, your interaction with the market through this forum is very welcome and we encourage you to continue with this trend.”

About Unilever Nigeria

Unilever Nigeria was established on 11 April 1923 as a soap manufacturing company – West Africa Soap Company, which later became known as Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited. The Company was subsequently listed on The NSE in 1973 as Lever Brothers Nigeria PLC.

Over the years, the Company diversified into manufacturing and marketing of food and personal care products via a series of mergers and acquisitions including Lipton Nigeria Limited in 1985, Cheesebrough Industries Limited in 1988 and Unilever Nigeria Limited in 1996.

The resultant entity was renamed Unilever Nigeria PLC in 2001 in line with the strategic direction of the business. Today, Unilever Nigeria is the oldest serving manufacturing organisation in Nigeria.

The Company commissioned its factory in Apapa, Lagos State in 1924 and subsequently a factory in Aba, Abia State in 1958.

In 1980, the Company commissioned its factory in Oregun, Lagos State and in 1983 commissioned its second factory in Agbara, Ogun State. To further expand its reach, in 2013, the Company commissioned a mega distribution centre in Agbara, Ogun State and in 2017 a distribution centre in Kano to cater for the northern region of Nigeria. Unilever Nigeria is a significant player in the Nigerian FMCG sector, with a strong presence in the food, home and personal care categories.

The Company is a truly multi-local, multinational organization with international and local brands in her portfolio.

The international brands include Close-Up toothpaste, Pepsodent toothpaste, LUX beauty soap, Lifebuoy soap, Rexona, Vaseline lotion and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly in the Personal Care Unit of the business; Blue Band Margarine, Lipton Yellow Label Tea and Knorr bouillon cubes in the Foods Unit; and OMO Multi-Active Detergent, Sunlight washing powder and Sunlight Dishwashing liquid in the Home Care Unit.

Other Regional and local jewels include the Pears Baby Products range and Royco bouillon cubes.

Unilever Nigeria enjoys a global heritage as a member of the Unilever Group, one of the world's leading consumer goods companies whose food, home and personal care brands are used by families globally each day.

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