lafarge-africa-to raise-n89-21b capital through rights-issue-at-n12-per-share

The board of Lafarge Africa Plc yesterday announced that the company will be raising N89.21 billion in new equity funds through a rights issue at N12 per share.

Lafarge Africa’s share price dropped by 4.48 per cent or 60 kobo to N12.80 per share yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The rights price represents a discount of 10.45 per cent on the company’s traded closing price as at Monday, December 3, 2018.

The rights issue will be pre-allotted on the basis of six new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for every seven ordinary shares of 50 kobo held as at the qualification date. The decisions were reached at the emergency board meeting held on Monday.

According to the company, the regulatory approval process is ongoing.

The latest capital raising is Lafarge Africa’s second issue in 14 months. Lafarge Africa had sold its November 2017’s rights issue of about 3.1 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N42.50 per share.

The new rights issue will also be structured like the November 2017 rights issue, including a convertible deal that allows the majority core investor- LafargeHolcim, to convert its debts to equities.

At a recent extraordinary general meeting in Lagos, shareholders had approved resolutions authorising the company to create additional 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to increase its authorised share capital to 20 billion ordinary shares.

Shareholders also authorised the board of the company to raise capital of N90 billion by way of a rights issue of ordinary shares to its shareholders  and that the rights issue be executed at such price, time, for such period and on such other terms and conditions as the directors may deem fit.

Also, the meeting granted the board the authority to apply any convertible loan, shareholder loan or any other loan facility due to any person, from the company, as may be agreed by the person and the company, towards payment for any shares or rights subscribed for in the rights issue.

Shareholders also authorised the company to enter into a related party transaction to accept loan facility from LafargeHolcim, the foreign majority core investor which holds 76.32 per cent equity stake.

Chairman, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr Mobolaji Balogun, said the additional capital to be raised will further help to deleverage the company’s balance sheet and provide head room for the expansion of its business.

He said the company foresees a stable pricing environment and favourable economic conditions in its Nigeria market while its South Africa operations are undergoing a turnaround plan.

Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Michel Puchercos said the company’s refinancing plan is aimed at preparing for future development in Nigeria by improving the company’s leverage as well as strengthening its profitability.

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