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Oil billionaire, AbdulWasiu Sowami, offers N16.8bn to takeover Ardova, awaits court decision



Ardova Plc has began the move to go private, as Ignite Investments & Commodities Limited, owned by AbdulWasiu Sowami, has offered to buy out minority shareholders.

Sowami had acquired Ardova from billionaire, Femi Otedola, in 2019. At the time, Ardova was known as Forte Oil. He bought 74.02 per cent through Ignite Investments.

The founder of Ignite Investments is now looking to have complete control of Ardova by buying out the 25.9 per cent or 970.7 million units of shares in the hands of minority shareholders.

Ripples Nigeria understands that the acquisition will cost Sowami N16.8 billion, as he offered to buy each share at the price of N17.38, according to a company document sent to investors dated February 6, 2023, and obtained by this publication on Tuesday.

Ignite Investments has tabled its offer to Ardova’s Board of Directors, and also awaits an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court Ordered Meeting to enable Sowami to proceed with the takeover if the shareholders agree to sell.

READ ALSO:Ardova distances self from Zenon dispute with majority investor

The document reads, “Ardova PLC (“Ardova” or the “Company”) has notified Nigerian Exchange Limited (“NGX”) that Ignite Investments & Commodities Limited has approached the Board of Directors of the Company with an intention to acquire the shares held by other shareholders of the Company at an offer price of ₦17.38 per share, and subsequently delist the Company from NGX (the “Proposed Transaction”).

“The offer price of ₦17.38 represents a premium of 22.44% and 24.38% to the 30-day and 60-day volume weighted average share price of ₦14.19 and ₦13.97 respectively, on 30 November 2022 (being the last trading day prior to the Offer).

“It is intended that the Proposed Transaction will be implemented under a Scheme of Arrangement in line with section 715 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, No.3 of 2020 (as amended) and other applicable rules and regulations.

“The Proposed Transaction is subject to the review and clearance of the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the approval of the shareholders of the Company. The terms and conditions of the Proposed Transaction will be provided in the Scheme Document which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court Ordered Meeting. If the conditions of the Proposed Transaction are satisfied and same is sanctioned by the Federal High Court, the Company would be delisted from NGX.

“Further developments will be communicated to shareholders in due course. Ardova Shareholders and members of the public are advised to exercise caution in dealing in Ardova’s shares until further information is provided.”

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