Lafarge Africa Plc. has written to The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to give an update of its planned merger of United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (UNICEM) and Atlas Company Limited (ATLAS) with its operations.
In a notice to the NSE Tuesday, signed by Edith Onwuchekwa, its company secretary and legal director, Lafarge said the merger would enable the enlarged company to take advantage of benefits arising from various synergies, as well as benefits from efficiencies from streamlining the operations of UNICEM and ATLAS.
“Lafarge Africa hereby notifies The Nigerian Stock Exchange of the decision of the board of the company to merge United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited and Atlas Company Limited with Lafarge Africa,” the notice read in parts, adding that Unicem and Atlas are wholly owned subsidiaries of Lafarge Africa with the company holding 100 percent equity in the two entities.
According to the notice, the merger will be by way of a court sanctioned scheme of merger and that having received the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval-in-principle to the scheme of merger, it would submit an application immediately to the Federal High Court in respect of obtaining an order to convene the respective meetings of shareholders of Lafarge, Unicem and Atlas.
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Lafarge Africa shares are currently trading N52.39 as at Wednesday morning at the NSE, while year-to-date it shares have gained 22.15 percent.
Half-year 2017 results by the company show revenue increased from N107 billion in 2016 to N154 billion in 2017. The company has also returned to profitability as it made an income before tax of N34.8 billion as at June 2017 compared to a loss before tax of N30.8 billion in 2016.
On the other hand, the Port Harcourt-based Atlas cement company was incorporated in 1999, while Unicem cement was established in 2002 after assets belonging to the defunct Calabar Cement Company were acquired.