Shareholders of Afprint Nigeria Plc have endorsed plans to de-list the firm from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Citing unfavorable government policies, coupled with mounting complaints from its shareholders over non-payment of dividend for the past ten years, Afprint recently obtained a court order to pave way for the de-listing process.
The National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, said Afprint was only reacting to inherent economic problems especially in the real sector of the Nigerian economy.
Chairman of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, who spoke in a similar vein, said delisting of Afprint was in the best interest of investors who have not earned dividend in the last ten years.
In a statement made available to The Guardian at the weekend, the board of Afprint expressed its resolve to meet its final obligations to the minority shareholders of the textile company. The Board through the management also expressed its delight at the understanding shown by the minority shareholders during the court ordered meeting 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 nation's emerging economy. He said that if not for some legal processes that needed to be finalised, Cheques would have been posted to the minority shareholders immediately.
"As a good corporate citizen, Afprint pledgee its loyalty to the rule of law and de-listing procedure as contained in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990," Eburajolo said. He said CAMA requires that shareholders' resolutions and approval of the scheme of arrangement at the extraordinary general meeting be sanctioned by a court and registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission and the NSE.
Eburajolo said that while the company is prepared to pay-off shareholders within the 21 days timeframe as contained in CAMA, shareholders needed to understand the technicalities in context. He also promised that the shareholders would be duly informed as soon as all legal and regulatory processes are concluded.
"While 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," he added. Under the shareholders' approved restructuring of Afprint 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