BY CHARLES ABUEDE
Rainoil Limited, through its investment arm, Preline Limited, and with the granting of the ‘Authority to Proceed’ by the SEC, has increased its shareholding in Eterna Plc to 61.08 percent from the initial 60.98 percent following its recent acquisition of 1,300,000 ordinary shares of Eterna at a price of N13.50 per share, making it the largest and majority shareholder in the company.
Eterna Plc, in a disclosure on Tuesday signed by Mandella Golkus, the company secretary, and filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, said the permission by SEC gives Preline Limited the power for a mandatory takeover bid of the company as it acquired 1,300,000 ordinary shares equivalent to 0.10 percent equity stake in the company from other shareholders at a price of N13.50 per share.
“We refer to Eterna Plc’s public statement dated 1st November 2021 in which the company had notified the general public that Preline Limited has completed the acquisition of 794,969,774 (seven hundred and ninety-four million, nine hundred and sixty-nine thousand seven hundred and seventy-four) ordinary shares of the company representing 60.98 percent in the company, making it the largest and majority shareholder in the company, thus triggering the mandatory tender offer (MTO) provisions of the Investment and Securities Act and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulations.
“We wish to announce to Nigerian Exchange Limited and the general public; that following the granting of the ‘‘Authority to proceed’’ by SEC, Preline Limited has notified the company of its intention to proceed with the takeover bid to acquire 1,300,000 ordinary shares equivalent to 0.10% equity stake in Eterna Plc from other shareholders at a price of N13.50 per share.
“This notification is in fulfilment of our disclosure obligations in line with regulatory guidelines and our corporate responsibility to our stakeholders,” Eterna statement reads.
Recall that in December 2020, Eterna Plc issued a public statement where it notified shareholders and regulators of the plans by a substantial shareholder to sell equity holdings. After almost 12 months from the announcement (November 2021), the publicly traded company on the NGX announced the completion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Preline Limited by some substantial shareholders (Lenux Integrated Resources Limited, Global Energy & Raw Materials Limited, Meristem Wealth Management Limited, Radix Capital Partners Limited, GASL Nominee Limited, GTI Capital Limited and Cardinalstone Partners Limited) (Shareholders) for the sale of 794,969,774 (seven hundred and ninety-four million nine hundred and sixty nine thousand seven hundred and seventy four) ordinary shares in the company representing 60.98 percent shareholding in the company.
The move also prompted Rainoil Limited to increase its asset base to include three ultra-modern petroleum product storage depots in Delta, Cross River and Lagos with the hope that the acquisition will reinvigorate the fortunes of Eterna Plc and optimise the company for improved performance.