Welcome to another Nairametrics Corporate News Roundup, a summary of the major company news stories for the week that ended February 11, 2023. This newsletter is brought to you courtesy of Quidax.
Last week, the searchlight was on Nigerian banks to see how they would cope with the cash scarcity challenge that has continued to affect many individuals and businesses across the country. As it turned out, some of the banks were alleged to have hoarded cash, and some arrests were made. Let’s begin with this story.
Sterling Bank accused of hoarding cash: The sum of N258 million was allegedly discovered in the vault of Sterling Bank’s Abuja regional head office. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) said it made the discovery after noticing that the bank’s ATMs were not dispensing cash to customers for a long time.
Following the discovery, the anti-graft agency said that both the Regional and Service managers were arrested and later granted administrative bail. In the meantime, the ICPC said it would continue to investigate the development.
Sterling Bank denies allegation: Meanwhile, Sterling Bank seemingly refuted the allegation with a cryptic statement on Twitter which said in parts that “the news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest.”
The statement did not specifically deny the allegation nor did it confirm it. Instead, it urged journalists to desist from ‘dramatizing’ the development.
Ardova’s plan to delist: Ardova Plc announced last week that its parent company, Ignite Investments & Commodities Limited, has indicated interest to buy out other minority investors. A corporate disclosure by the downstream oil and gas company noted that the buyout would be at an offer price of N17.38 per share.
If the proposed buyout is successful, Ignite Investments would eventually take the company private once the deal is finalized. The implication is that Ardova Plc would be delisted from the Nigerian Exchange where it is currently listed.
Shareholders kick against buyout: Meanwhile, the proposed buyout was not favourably received by Ardova Plc’s minority investors. In a leaked letter addressed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the disgruntled minority investors argued that anytime a company is delisted from the Nigerian Exchange, minority investors inevitably incur losses.
The minority shareholders of Ardova Plc also argued that the fair value for the proposed buyout should be at least N66.00 per share, not N17.38 per share as proposed by Ignite Investments.
Zinox gets an amazing deal: Zinox announced that it received a contract worth over N85 billion from the National Population Commission (NPC). The landmark deal is for Zinox to supply tech components and other accessories for the 2023 national census project.
A statement made available to Nairametrics explained that Zinox has already commenced supply of the first batch of about 100,000 units of the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) devices required for the nationwide enumeration.
Nigerian startups excel in Riyadh: In deals news, Nairametrics reported that two Nigerian startups won $150, 000 each at the Rocket Fuel Pitch Competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The competition was organized by LEAP Technology Exhibition. And the winning startups are RiceAfrika Technologies which uses tech to optimize agriculture, and Wicrypt, an innovative startup decentralizing the internet globally.
PressOne’s pre-seed round: PressOne Africa said it closed a $600,000 pre-seed round led by Ventures Platform with participation from Voltron Capital and other angel investors. The funding round would enable the startup to expand its service offerings
With PressOne, entrepreneurs gain greater control and understanding of their customer interactions, leading to heightened customer satisfaction and higher retention rates.
Flutterwave expands to Egypt: Flutterwave announced last week that it would be expanding its payment services to Egypt following the receipt of a payments facilitator and payment services provider licences from the country’s regulators.
The licenses will enable them to collect payments on behalf of their clients and facilitate local and global payment settlements. The licenses will also enable Flutterwave to roll out its suite of business products, including store, payment links, invoices, and checkout in Egypt.
Omolara Belo appointed Secretary: Berger Paints Nigeria Plc appointed Mrs. Omolara Bello as its substantive Company Secretary/Legal Advisor. A corporate disclosure by the company said the appointment took effect on Wednesday 15, February 2023.
Omolara Bello holds an LLM in International and Commercial Law from the University of Buckingham in 2007. She has experience spanning the UK and Nigeria and previously worked as an Auditor at the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
Pamela Sodipo joins Fidelity’s Board: Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Pamela Shodipo as an Executive Director in charge of its South Directorate. The company noted that the appointment was approved by regulators such as the CBN and the NDIC.
Mrs. Shodipo has over 25 years of multifunctional and cross-border banking experience at leading financial institutions covering general management and business origination in diverse segments including corporate, commercial, consumer, retail, and public sector.