Lafarge Africa Seeks Fresh N140bn To Strengthen Balance Sheet

Shareholders of cement making giant, Lafarge Africa Plc on Monday hinted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of plans to request that shareholders approve plans for up to N140bn at its June 7, annual general meeting in Lagos.
The amount, according to Uzoma Uja, its Company Secretary, in a statement, is to be sourced by way of rights to existing shareholders, with LafargeHolcim Group taking up its rights and converting its portion of the loan to equity.
“When the Rights Issue is opened, all shareholders will have the same proportionate Rights in line with their shareholding in the company,” the statement added.
Also, the directors would, at the AGM, propose that the shareholders approve the merger of Unicem, its wholly owned subsidiary into Lafarge Africa, all in a bid to strengthen the group’s balance sheet for the good of investors.
The proposals will also strengthen the company’s capital structure by reducing its foreign currency exposure and optimizing the Lafarge Africa organization.
“Combined with improved (operating) performance, the proposals will strengthen Lafarge Africa’s expansion in Nigeria,” the statement noted, adding that Unicem “has FX loan of approximately USD600m which was incurred for the completion of line 1 (2.5mtpa) and the commissioning of line 2 (2,5mtpa).
“Between Q4 2016 and April 2017, 50% of the outstanding loan was hedged using the Non Deliverable Futures window of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”