Continental Reinsurance Plc, has delisted its entire 10,372,744,312 ordinary shares from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), bringing the shutters down on its over twelve years presence on the Nigerian bourse, having debuted there in 2007.
The NSE made the announcement Friday via a market bulletin in the wake of the consummation of a court-ordered Scheme of Arrangement between the firm’s core investors and minority investors, intended to enable the former conduct an internal acquisition arrangement, enabling it to take over the latter’s shares.
The idea is to allow CRe African Investments Limited, itself the holding company, acquire all the shares of CRe Nigeria for consolidation under a new corporate structure.
According to Femi Oyetunji, Continental Reinsurance Plc Group Managing Director, the consolidation was needed in order to position the company for global competitiveness as well as obtain an A rating.
“I will want to reemphasise that the principal focus of our capital restructuring is to achieve the much needed A rating. Our name continues to be Continental Reinsurance and our business model is unchanged.
“Prior to the scheme of arrangement, we had over 6,000 shareholders. Everyone cannot be a shareholder in the Mauritius company because of the Know-Your-Customer requirements. We set the threshold at those with at least three per cent shareholding. We have only three shareholders that meet this requirement.
“Consequently, the scheme puts all the shareholders with less than three per cent shareholding who want to continue to be shareholders into the Nominee Vehicle. So post restructuring, there will be only four shareholders and this may not meet the Nigerian Stock Exchange requirements. Again, I reemphasise that our focus is not about delisting or not delisting but in achieving our vision of being an A rated company,” Oyetunji said.
Currently, the company has footprints in about 50 African countries.
The development is the second time in twelve years a company would leave the Exchange following AG Leventis’s exit in pursuit of its bid to reverse to limited liability status. However, both departures were voluntarily initiated by both companies in furtherance of their own corporate objectives.
In this case, Continental Reinsurance is making the bold move.
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