Competition among companies for funds in the corporate bonds market is getting fiercer by the day as more companies signify interest to raise fresh capital for their operations from the segment of the capital market.
The latest entrant is UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC) which is planning to raise N30 billion via corporate bonds. Apart from banks, Oando, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Tripple Gee and Company Plc, C & I Leasing Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc are among companies that have signified interest to access the market for fresh funds through corporate bond issuance.
While none of non-banking firms that had early signified interests, has commenced the bond issuance exercise, UPDC is requesting its shareholders to approve plans to float N30 billion corporate bonds. It was gathered that an Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) has been scheduled for Lagos on February 23, 2010 for the shareholders to approve the proposal. It was also learnt that the bonds would be issued in tranches at a time to be determined by the directors.
The company, which is a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc, paid a dividend of N0.75 per share to shareholders last year for the financial year ended December 31, 2008. Addressing shareholders at the 11th Annual General Meeting of UPDC, in Lagos last May, the then Chairman, Lt. General Mohammed Wushishi (rtd.), said that despite the harsh operating environment, a turnover of N13.2billion was recorded in 2008.
This, he said, indicated a significant increase of 132 per cent over the turnover of N 5.7billion recorded in 2007. Profit before tax (PBT) was N3.7billion against N1.4billion in the preceding year, showing an improvement of 159 per cent. “Based on these excellent results, the Board of Directors has recommended for your approval a dividend of 75 kobo per share for the year. This represents an increase of 26 kobo over the 49 kobo dividend per share paid the previous year,” he said.
He had assured that in the midst of the uncertainties, the company will remain focused and strategic, strengthened by her rich heritage and age-long principles of good corporate governance, accountability and responsibility. “The company will continue to leverage on her dedicated, skilled and experienced human capital to deliver good results for the benefit of our stakeholders,” Wushishi said.
Only recently, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran was named the new Managing Director of UPDC. Ogunniran, former divisional managing director of MDS Logistics, a division of UAC of Nigeria Plc, took over from Mr. Abdul Bello, who has been appointed Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director of UACN Plc.