By Kayode Tokede
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has approved the delisting of Continental Reinsurance shares from the stock market, as it plans to transfer the various subsidiaries of the group to CRe Investments.
The company is reviewing its operations, and part of its plan is the filing of an application for voluntary delisting from NSE daily official list. The decision had been approved by its shareholders. The delisting approval was granted on December 31, 2019, as stated in the NSE’s listing report.
Meanwhile, the company had denied delisting plans, stating that it had no plans for it. According to the Managing Director of Continental Reinsurance, Olufemi Oyetunji back in January 2019, the company was only planning to change its business structure to attract capital.
“We need all the capital we can get for this restructuring. So, it is not even a wise decision to delist. People saying that we plan to delist are spreading rumours. We have no plans to delist or to do a change of name for the company.”
The company plans to transfer the various subsidiaries of the group to CRe Investments to enable CRe Nigeria to shore up its balance sheets and capital required for maintaining and expanding the business.
As consideration for the transfer of the shareholders’ shares in CRe Nigeria to CRe Investments under the new scheme disclosed in early 2019, Oyetunji said shareholders have the option to receive one ordinary share of $1 each in the capital of CRe Investments for 176 ordinary share of 50 kobo each in the capital of CRe Nigeria as at the effective date.
The second option, Oyetunji said is for them to receive N2.04 per ordinary share of 50 kobo each held by the shareholders as at the effective date. Oyetunji added that 92.66percent of shareholders voted in favour of the restructuring, while 7.34 per cent voted against it.
He maintained that shareholders that choose to remain with the company can either decide to receive dividends from the company and bring more money back or to not receive dividends at all.
Oyetunji said Nigeria accounts for 40per cent of Continental reinsurance business across Africa, making it the most significant in the company’s market.
According to him, “Our interest in Africa is a permanent interest and not a long interest. Nigeria continues and will always be the largest element. Our focus and amount of capital to be dedicated to Nigeria will only continue to increase. We are not exiting, because we want to write more businesses in Nigeria.”