Shareholders of Geregu Power have lost –14.9 per cent of their investment in the last two trading sessions in the Nigerian stock exchange amid talks with a potential substantial investor, Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank).
Ripples Nigeria had reported that Africa Export and Import Bank, through its impact development arm, Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) is holding negotiations with Geregu to acquire a stake in the electricity company.
The value of the stake wasn’t disclosed in a statement by Geregu and talks are yet to hit the advanced stage, but Ripples Nigeria had reported in its Stock To Watch list that the discussion could impact shareholders’ investment amid negotiation and the outcome can also influence the firm’s share movement.
In a market analysis of Geregu’s share movement since the negotiation was reported on Friday, December 2, it was gathered that sell pressure greeted the disclosure, causing Geregu’s share to fall to N122.8kobo from the pre-announcement level of N130.2kobo.
This publication noted that shareholders extended their sell-off into this week, forcing the share to sell for as low as N110.7kobo on Monday.
Analysis showed that investors currently holding shares of Geregu, including Otedola, lost N48.75 billion to the sell-off, indicating their investment in the power firm has fallen by –14.9 per cent within two days and since the negotiation was disclosed.
Why Geregu shareholders are selling off
Geregu’s decision to hear Afreximbank’s stake acquisition offer shows Otedola, the majority shareholder, is planning to sell part of his ownership stake.
A substantial investor like Otedola planning to sell a stake often sends shivers down the spine of minority shareholders in a company, hence the current sell pressure being experienced by Geregu’s share.
Otedola reducing his ownership stake comes at a time he plans to purchase another power plant through Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited, which has been selected by the Federal Government among many other bidders.
The billionaire had also sold about N7.96 billion worth of shares in First Bank, where he is also a majority shareholder. Otedola has a history of selling off shares to provide capital for the purchase of a power plant.
He sold off his investment in Forte Oil (now Ardova) to acquire Geregu fully.