How financiers forced Actis to sell stake in C&I Leasing – MD
Peace Mass Transit in January acquired a majority stake in C&I Leasing following the decision of the investor, Actis Nigeria, to exit the company.
The investor had approached other existing investors to trigger its exit from the firm.
It was gathered that Actis, also known as Neoma Africa Fund, was compelled to sell its shares in C&I Leasing due to limited return on their investment.
Ripples Nigeria recalled that Actis exit from C&I Leasing freed 313,326,316 units of shares for purchase and this was eventually acquired by Peace Mass Transit.
The Managing Director of C&I Leasing, Andrew Otike-Odibi, who spoke on the matter in a chat with our correspondent, said development gives Peace Mass Transit 55.82 percent shares in his company.
He stressed that Actis was no longer in a position to remain as an investor in C&I Leasing after selling its stakes in the company.
He said: “Peace Mass Transit, first of all, has been a shareholder of C&I Leasing and a Director of C&I Leasing.
“Actis is a logical top fund that needed to exit because if you understand the way the venture capital funds operate, they have a time limit for their investment and they have to exit at a point and return funds to their investors.
“At the point of exit, Actis approached the existing shareholders and directors and asked to find out if anyone or party was interested in taking up their slot. Peace Mass Transit was ready and took advantage of the opportunity and in doing that, we see it as a very positive move.”
Actis is an investment venture with an appetite for the African market. It was created in 2004 after the United Kingdom-based CDC Group was restructured. The company has invested in Nigerian firms such as Africa Oilfield Services/AOS Orwell Limited, Computer Warehouse, as well as Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc.
The exit of Actis means that the funder’s investment in C&I Leasing will be written down as equity, as it was previously classified as debt.
“This transaction will strengthen the capital base of the company and improve clarity of the capital structure,” C&I Leasing said in a statement shared to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).