Ecobank seeks foreign investors amid falling revenue
Ecobank is planning to raise funds from foreign investors amid declining interest in its shares in Nigeria and falling revenue.
The company wants to use the international debt capital market to raise $300 million.
In a statement to investors, which was obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Ecobank identified the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the market where foreign investors will be issued senior notes in exchange for the capital.
Senior notes is also known as senior debt, and it comes with lower interest rates compared to other bonds due to its low risk. Companies that offer senior notes are obligated to repay their creditors in the wake of any financial troubles experienced by the issuer – this means debt tied to senior notes are paid before other debts.
Ecobank said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved its senior notes issue on the LSE, hence, the decision of the lender to inform the investing public in Nigeria of its intention to raise funds.
Ripples Nigeria confirmed from the NSE document that the capital raised from the senior notes will be infused into Ecobank’s operation in Africa, where it will financially support international trade.
Ecobank said its issuance of $300 million senior notes is in line with “the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144A and Regulation S (the “Transaction”).” Adding that, “The proceeds of the Eurobond will provide medium term funding and help to enhance the capacity of the Bank to support international trade and service in Africa.
“Further, the Notes, which will be issued through a Dutch special purposes funding vehicle, will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. In view of the foregoing, ETI is pleased to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public of the proposed launch of the Notes by the Bank.
“The Bank intends to list the Notes on the London Stock Exchange, with the expectation that the Notes will be traded on its regulated market. The Central Bank of Nigeria has confirmed that it has no objection to the Transaction. It should be noted that the Transaction is subject to prevailing market conditions and the conclusion of the necessary Transaction documentation.”
The decision to raise capital on the LSE comes at a period the company’s share price is declining as investors dump Ecobank shares in the Nigerian bourse to protect their investment following report by the company that its revenue dipped by 2% to N829 billion at 2020 Full Year (FY), failing to surpass the N842.49 billion of 2019 FY.