By COMFORT NJIONYE
Ashaka Cement Plc has decided to operate as an unlisted entity. The company opted for voluntary delist to avoid NSE enforcement action of regulatory delisting because the free float deficiency was not likely to be remedied.
As a result of the violation of the exchange free float deficiency provision of 20 percent. Ashaka Cememt announced the company’s voluntarily withdrawal from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The company’s directors announced its voluntary withdrawal in a statement posted on NSE website.
“The Board of Directors of Ashaka Cement Plc has opted for a voluntarily delisting of the company from the NSE in violation of the Exchange’s Free Float Deficiency provision of 20 per cent,’’ the statement read in part.
The report stated that Lafarge Africa Plc currently holds 84.97 per cent of Ashaka Cement, bringing the free float that was tradable on the NSE to 15.03 per cent which is against the 20 per cent stipulated by the Exchange.
It was also stated by the directors that for over five years besides the free float deficiency, there has been little or no trading activity with only 0.20 per cent of the shares held by the minority shareholders being traded.
Furthermore the statement also states that neither the company nor the shareholders are benefiting from the continued listing as shareholders are not getting any exit opportunity. “And their investments have been locked up while they find it difficult to dispose of their shares.
“Moreover, the company is bearing unnecessary cost in complying with its listing obligations,” the directors stated.
They are also providing an exit consideration to minority shareholders, who do not wish to remain in an unlisted company.’’
The company had in 2016 notified the NSE of its intention to exit and gave shareholders options.
The shareholders of Ashaka Cement would receive a N2per share cash consideration and also 57 Lafarge Africa shares for 202 Ashaka shares as they exercised their option to exit the company prior to the delisting.
Also shareholders, who do not want to remain in the unlisted Ashaka Cement, would be entitled to receive a payment of N15.74 per share from the company.