Coronation Capital (Mauritius) Limited, a company helped found by former Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc (now Access Corporation), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has tabled an offer alongside “other related parties” to convert Lagos-listed Coronation Insurance to private ownership.
Coronation Capital (Mauritius) Limited, co-established and chaired by Mr Aig-Imoukhuede, and some core investors have informed the insurer’s directors board of their plan to buy out other shareholders “and subsequently delist the Company from NGX,” according to a Tuesday’s regulatory filing.
The firm is registered in Mauritius, a Southern African island nation ranking among the top countries with a reputation for helping global companies conceal taxable income away from authorities.
Coronation Insurance has Coronation Capital (Mauritius) as its biggest shareholder, holding a 41 per cent interest in the underwriter.
Other major investors include Reunion Energy Limited (21 per cent) and Coronation Asset Management (5 per cent), meaning its core shareholders hold 67 per cent of the issued shares between them.
Coronation Insurance and Corporation Capital (Mauritius) are affiliated with Coronation Capital, a financial services group, which a fortnight back announced it had gained a holding company status.
Mr Aig-Imoukhuede chairs the group, whose services also cover financial advisory, deal-making, trusteeship and brokerage. It has assets under management in excess of $1 billion, according to the information on its website.
Coronation Insurance was the underwriting arm of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, a lender acquired by Access Bank in 2012 when Mr Aig-Imoukhuede was the CEO.
“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 document said.
The bid echoes an unusual trend in corporate Nigeria, where some quoted companies receive approaches from core investors to take the firms private.
That is happening as weaker corporate valuations make listed companies all the more attractive to investors desirous of taking them private at bargain prices.
Energy firms Ardova and Oando, which have a dual listing in Lagos and Johannesburg, are on the verge of going private, with the shareholders’ consent sanctioning their exit from the Nigerian Exchange now in the cards.
The new deal, if successful, will shield Coronation Insurance from the everyday scrutiny by the markets and other regulatory inconveniences that often go with being a public company. And the move is an affirmation from the core investors that the insurer does not need as much access to capital from public equity markets to run as a financially stable company.
The investors agreed to pay N0.65 to acquire each of Coronation Insurance’s remaining shares, a premium of 30 per cent to the firm’s share price of N0.50 as of 12 August 2021, according to the document.
The bid could be declined by minority shareholders, considering that the offer price is a discount to the company’s share price of N0.81 at market open on Wednesday, a difference of approximately 25 per cent.
In the two months to 27 June, Tengen Holdings (Mauritius) Limited, a company also registered in Mauritius and jointly owned by Mr Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe, Access Corporation’s current CEO, acquired about 1.4 billion units of Access Corporation’s shares, according to PREMIUM TIMES calculation from stock exchange filings.
Mr Wigwe was the deputy to Mr Aig-Imoukhuede when the latter was Access Bank’s managing director.
“Our overarching purpose is to manage the wealth of our clients, the founders of Tengen: Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe,” Tengen says on its website.
Mr Wigwe holds 432.6 million shares on behalf of Coronation Trustees Tengen Mauritius in Access Corporation, according to the group’s 2022 audited earnings report.
Corporation Capital (Mauritius) and Tengen Holdings (Mauritius) were registered in 2014 with just a month and three days between their registration dates, both entities sharing the same registered office address, according to PREMIUM TIMES’ findings.
Ocorian Corporate Services (Mauritius) Limited serves as both the secretary and management company to the two entities, while Ufoeze Chizoba is a director in the two companies.
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