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Rights Issue: Lafarge targets reduction of dollar debt exposure

COMFORT EKELEME

Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Lafarge Africa, Mr. Michel Puchercos has assured shareholders that the company’s ongoing Rights Issue would serve as part of its restructuring strategies.

This is even as he urged shareholders to demonstrate commitment by taking the ongoing Right Issue, which he added would help the company reduce its dollar debt exposure.

He maintained that the Right Issue would further position Lafarge Africa for the future, adding that the Cement Industry remains a very attractive industry in Nigeria, noting that the support of stakeholders is needed towards ensuring that the company is well positioned to achieve strategic growth objectives.

Speaking at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) during the Company’s presentation of Facts Behind its ongoing Rights Offer, Puchercos  said that prospect of growth for the company in Nigeria remains very promising as the company continue to expand its operations across the country as work towards reducing its dollar denominated loans.

Lafarge Africa Plc is currently offering 3,097,653,023 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N42, 50 per share on the basis of 5 new ordinary shares for every 9 ordinary shares held as at 1st November 2017. The Rights acceptance list opened on November 24th 2017 and is billed to close on 15 December, 2017.

Lead issuing house to the offer is Chapel Hill Denham while joint issuing house is Standard Chartered., while the rights are tradable on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange between November 24th and 15th December.

Lafarge Africa’s boss further explained that net proceeds from the Rights offer would be applied to refinancing a portion of the company’s foreign currency denominated shareholder loans, by way of a debt to equity conversion, adding that a portion will also be deployed to finance working capital requirement as well as used to expand operations.

He said “by accepting your Rights, you will be making a strong statement regarding your commitment at ensuring that the company is well positioned to achieve its strategic growth objectives.

The board  of Directors, he said “ strongly recommends that shareholders take up their Rights in full” adding that the Rights circular contains an allotment letter on page 53 detailing full instructions for acceptance , payment  and renunciation of your Rights.

The projected growth, Puchercos said is hinged on boosting its customers reach, expanding volume, boosting operations and ensuring its traditional quality products across board.

“Power plant in Askaka, North East which we have commenced building will narrow cost of production significantly,” he said.

The NSE Chief of staff Mr. Bola Adeko, who represented the NSE Chief Executive Officer of the exchange, commended the company for using the platform to further educate shareholders on its ongoing Rights issue.

He lauded the company for deploying the rights as a demonstrable effort to address foreign exchange denominated loan and clear focus at enhancing operational efficiency.

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