The shareholders of Ashaka Cement Plc monday approved the proposed voluntarily delisting of the company from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The shareholders gave the approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Abuja. Following the EGM, shareholders of the company will have a 90-day window as specified by NSE rules on voluntary delisting to decide on the exit plan on offer to shareholders.
As proposed by the Board of Directors and passed by shareholders at the EGM, shareholders may exit the company within the regulatory 90 days period prior to the official delisting of the company by either trading their shares on the NSE through their nominated stockbroker or receive 57 shares of Lafarge Africa Plc in exchange for 202 Ashaka Cement shares and a cash consideration of N2 per every AshakaCem exchanged.
Speaking at the EGM, the Vice-Chairman of Ashaka Cement, Mrs Edith Onwuchekwa, who represented the Chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah, who was unavoidably absent, said: “The voluntary delisting will not occasion loss of shares held by shareholders. As such shareholders may retain their membership in the unlisted company if they so wish. Post the delisting, AshakaCem will continue to operate as a legal entity with its own board of directors.”
Under the delisting and settlement of consideration, minority shareholders in AshakaCem will be offered benefits, including revenue diversification by geography as a result of Lafarge Africa’s operations in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. This is in addition to revenue diversification by plant location due to wide spread operations across the North East, South East and South West regions of Nigeria.
The Board of Directors of Ashaka Cement Plc had opted for a voluntarily delisting of the company from the NSE in violation of the exchange’s Free Float Deficiency provision of 20 per cent.
According to the directors, Lafarge Africa Plc currently holds 84.97 per cent of Ashaka Cement, bringing the free float that is tradable on the NSE to 15.03 per cent as against 20 per cent stipulated by the exchange.
The directors explained that is not improbable that given this free float deficiency, the NSE could take enforcement action and initiate a regulatory delisting, given that the free float deficiency is not likely to be remedied, hence the decision to delist and operate as an unlisted company.