Unilever Plc, United Kingdom, the majority core investor in Unilever Nigeria, provided more than N35 billion in the new equity capital to Unilever Nigeria Plc as the Nigerian subsidiary successfully raised N59 billion new equity funds to bolster its operations.
Listing document at the weekend showed that Unilever Nigeria recorded full subscription to its recent rights issue, raising N58.9 billion from both the majority core investors and other minority shareholders.
Unilever Nigeria had floated a supplementary offer to raise N58.9 billion in new equity funds by selling 1.962 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at a price of N30 per share. The rights issue was pre-allotted to shareholders in the register of the company as at the close of business on June 28, 2017 on the basis of 14 new ordinary shares for every 27 ordinary shares held.
Following the full subscription, a total of 1.96 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each were added to the outstanding shares in the name of Unilever Nigeria on the Daily Official List of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). With the new listing of 1.96 billion ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Unilever Nigeria has now increased from 3.78 billion ordinary shares to 5.745 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.
Prior to the rights issue, Unilever UK held 60.06 per cent majority equity stake in Unilever Nigeria through its Unilever Overseas Holdings BV. Stanbic Nominees Nigeria Limited held the second largest equity stake of 10.43 per cent in Unilever Nigeria.
Unilever UK, which had shown sustained interest in increasing its majority shareholding in the Nigerian subsidiary, fully picked up its rights. It had earlier mopped up additional shares through open market purchases at the Exchange to increase its majority stake by 1.53 per cent from 58.53 per cent in 2015 to 60.06 per cent in 2016. It had also made open market purchases in 2015.
Unilever UK had earlier indicated its intention to acquire up to 75 per cent controlling equity stake in the Nigerian subsidiary. It had in first half of 2015 sought to increase its majority equity stake in the Nigerian subsidiary from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, citing long-term strategic importance of Unilever Nigeria to its global business.
In a transaction initially valued at about N43 billion or £144.5 million, Unilever Overseas Holdings sought to increase its equity stake in the Nigerian company from 50.04 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent by buying additional shares from minority shareholders. The tender offer sought to acquire about 942.42 million ordinary shares in Unilever Nigeria at a price of N45.50 per share in cash.