• We will explore other options – Management
  • Offer price unfair and ridiculous – Shareholders

By Chinwendu Obienyi

PZ Cussons Nigeria’s hopes of delisting from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has hit a stumbling block as Daily Sun gathered that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declined the company’s request for its major shareholder, PZ Cussons (Holdings) to buy out other shareholders.

According to a corporate disclosure filed with NGX, PZ Cussons (Holdings) Limited had intended to buy the shares held by other PZ Cussons Nigeria shareholders at N23 per share.

However, the SEC declined the company’s request for “No Objection” to this move. The reasons for SEC’s decline to the request were not contained in the statement signed by the company’s secretary, Olubukola Olonade-Agaga.

The statement read, “PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc hereby notifies the NGX and the investing public that the SEC has declined the company’s request for its no objection to PZ Cussons (Holdings) Limited’s (the majority shareholder) intention to acquire the shares held by all the other shareholders of PZCN at an offer price of N23 per share (the “Proposed Transaction”).The Board will communicate further developments to shareholders in due course.”

It will be recalled that in September 2023, the UK-based group, PZ Cussons (Holding) Limited announced moves to buy the remaining 26.73 per cent shareholding of its Nigerian subsidiary, PZ Cussons Nigeria Limited held by minority shareholders at a price of N21 per unit.

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The offer was then increased to N23 per unit in November after shareholders vehemently disagreed with the company’s initial proposed price.

The company had in February 2024, stated that if it was not able to obtain the requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals to proceed with the proposed scheme, “the Company will be required to explore with its creditors, which are primarily members of the PZ Cussons group, ways to address the Company’s negative net asset position and repay or settle outstanding amounts owing to its creditors.”

Speaking to Daily Sun via a telephone chat, the President of New Dimension Shareholders Association, Patrick Ajudua, noted that the price was unfair and ridiculous to shareholders.

According to him, shareholders has been loyal to the company and deserved more.

“Any amount below N100 per share is completely unacceptable to the Nigeria shareholders and will be resisted appropriately”, he said.

The company posted a pre-tax loss of N73.8 billion in its H1 2024 results which reflected a significant decline from the N9.3 billion pre-tax profit posted in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.