Shareholders Force NGX to Suspend Controversial N35bn Capital Raise at AGM
Shareholders of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc forced the management of the exchange drop its plans to raise a huge N35billion fresh capital, as the exchange said it would embark on a wider consultations to further engagement with stakeholders on the issue.
At the company’s 61st annual general meeting held in its Lagos head office on Friday 30th Sept, NGX carefully avoided presenting for deliberation the special business to raise funds of up to N35billion for planned business expansion.
Huge hue and cry had trailed the NGX proposal to raise a fresh N35 billion for expansion of various operations, which was meant to be presented for consideration and possible approval by shareholders at the AGM.
On September 7, the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc issued a notice for its 61st annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for September 30.
The notice signed by Mojisola Adesola, Company Secretary/ Head of Compliance, had hinted at a special business of a capital raise to the tune of N35 billion, which the Group’s Board of Directors hoped to present before shareholders for approval.
Several shareholders had querried why the Oscar Onyema led NGX Group wanted to raise such huge fresh funds, viewing the fund raising was not necessary in view of the non profitable nature of the exchange serious, fearing that it is a strategy to hijack ownership of the Exchange from them. While the NGX seemed bent on getting ahead with the AGM as planned and the needed approval of majority of the shareholders, the concerned group of shareholders were hell bent on stopping the AGM or at least ensure that the Capital Raise Proposal did not get approval.
The planned capital raising some interested parties approached the court seeking injunction to stop each other from actions contrary to their interest.
Consequently, the NGX Group suspended deliberations on the controversial special business of raising the funds.
However, other items for deliberations were successfully concluded, and received unanimous approval of the shareholders present during the meeting.
Shareholders approved resolutions by the company’s Board of Directors to re-elect as non-executive directors the duo of Apollos Ikpobe and Okechukwu Itanyi retired by rotation.
The Group Chairman of NGX Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who was due for re-election for a period of one year until the next AGM in 2023, voluntarily retired from the board and did not present himself for re-election.
Similarly, one of the non-executive directors, Professor Enase Okonedo’s resignation was earlier approved by the board and as such she was not presented for re-election.
Other resolutions adopted at the AGM include the appointment of Ernst & Young as NGX Group’s external auditors; the Board’s authority to fix the Audit Company’s remuneration; the disclosure of NGX Group’s executive remuneration; and the re-election of the Statutory Audit Committee.
Four non-executive directors of the board were re-elected, including Fatimah Bintah Bello-Ismail, Oluwole Adeosun, Chidi Agbapu, and Patrick Ajayi.