13 February 2018

Nigeria: NSE Approves Delisting of Seven-Up After Takeover Bid

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says it has approved the voluntary delisting of Seven-Up Bottling Company after it received a takeover bid from its majority shareholder aimed at restructuring the soft drinks bottler.

The NSE, which suspended trading in the company's shares in January, said in a notice that it approved the delisting last week.

Seven-Up's minority shareholders backed a $70 million buy-out bid by majority investor, Affelka, the investment firm of the Lebanese El-Khalil family.

The bottler received the take-over proposal last August after posting losses in a deal aimed at restructuring the 7-Up, Pepsi and Mirinda distributor.

Specifically, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc (SBC) in January notified the NSE and the investing public of an upward review of the scheme consideration for the company's minority shares to N125 per share from the earlier N112.70 per share.

Affelka S.A. - the holder of 73.0 per cent of the company's shares outstanding - has signalled intention since last year to completely buy-out minority shares in SBC for a consideration of N112.70 per share relative to the market price of N97.12 as of December 7, 2017.

The notification, signed by SBC Company Secretary, Samuel Oboh, indicated that the proposed new consideration represents a 22.6 per cent premium to the last traded share price of the company as of January 9, 2018, and a 27.6 per cent to the share price as of August 10, 2017, which was the last business date the initial proposal was received from Affelka S.A.

While the planned purchase is still subject to approval by the shareholders at a court-ordered meeting scheduled as at Thursday, January 11, 2018, the company has received a "No Objection" from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To this end, market analysts are recommending that the minority investors tender their shares for sale.

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