PAULETTE ORJIME- Abuja
THE Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has facilitated the first Initial Public Offer (IPO) in four years.The public offer which opens on Monday, November 12 and closes on Wednesday, December 19 has a public offering of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc for the sale of 406,074,000 ordinary shares.
Speaking at the occasion in Lagos recently, Director- General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh said it was a great a milestone for the Bureau and the privatisation programme in Nigeria; and urged the investing public to take advantage of the offer.
Okoh said the shares being offered for sale would be allotted on the basis of equality between the 360 federal constituencies in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); and advised the prospective investors to consult their Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers for subscription. He said the move is in fulfillment of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE)’s commitment towards deepening Nigeria’s Capital Market through the provisions of opportunities for investment on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).
The Director-General reiterated the commitment of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to ensuring that “privatisation transactions, especially reforms geared towards economic recovery for a buoyant Nigerian economy are done in line with international best practices” and that the present administration was poised to partnering with the Nigerian public and international investors in order to explore the opportunities available in the nation’s Capital Market.
According to him, SAHCO Plc (formerly Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited-SAHCOL) was incorporated in March 1996 as a 100% fully-owned federal government enterprise but was privatised and handed over to the core-investor (SIFAX Group) on December 23, 2009 after being carved out of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited. He added that the company is 100 percent owned by the SIFAX Group.
He noted that SAHCO is one of the success stories of privatisation in Nigeria and pledged the determination of the present administration to ensure that all privatised enterprises are run efficiently and for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Also Speaking, Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi said the company has grown from 21 percent to 40 percent since take over in 2009 with 100 percent growth in revenue.
While enjoining the general public to take advantage of the public offer, he said 41 percent of the shares on sale will go to the investing public while 10 percent was reserved for staff of the company as statutorily required by the privatisation Act.
On why SAHCO had to wait nine years after take over before going public, he said the company wanted to procure state- of the- art equipment and have in place the necessary logistics before doing that; and that the investing climate was not ripe then.
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