VFD Group Plc, an indigenous investment group, has acquired the largest equity stake in Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) Plc, becoming the first shareholder to own a significant stake in the Exchange following the demutualization of the defunct Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mojisola Adeola, Group Company Secretary and Compliance Officer, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) Plc, stated in a regulatory filing yesterday that VFD Group has acquired up to 5.17 percent of NGX Group’s issued share capital.
VFD Group will have reached the 5% material shareholding threshold by February 16, 2022.
Every quoted company is required by Rule 17.13 of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) Rulebook (Issuers’ Rules) to notify the Exchange of any material change in its shareholding.
Last year, NGX completed its demutualisation by converting the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) from a mutual, member-owned, not-for-profit entity to a profit-making, public limited liability company with clearly defined shareholdings and shareholders.
The demutualisation resulted in the formation of a new non-operating holding company, the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), whose shares were distributed to former members of the defunct NSE.
The NGX Group has three operating subsidiaries: Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX Limited), the operating exchange that took over the NSE’s listing and trading functions; NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo), the independent regulation company that took over the NSE’s self-regulation functions; and NGX Real Estate Limited (NGX RELCO), the real estate company that took ownership of real estate.
According to the conversion scheme of arrangement, NGX Group has an authorised share capital of 2.5 billion ordinary shares. In the immediate aftermath of the conversion, approximately 2.0 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each were registered with the SEC and issued. Following the demutualization, there were 255 institutional shareholders and 177 individual shareholders.
The post-demutualisation shareholding structure was reached by converting the Exchange’s existing dealing members to institutional shareholders and ordinary members to individual shareholders. In the immediate conversion period, institutional shareholders held 6.01 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, while individual shareholders held 2.44 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.
Nonso Okpala, Group Managing Director of VFD Group Plc, told The Nation last week that the company is currently constructing Africa’s first truly diverse business ecosystem.
“In the future, one of our key strategic plans is to become a global proprietary investment firm listed on one of the world’s leading exchanges, and we are already in the process of doing so.” We have created a roadmap to get there, with industry and cross-border expansion plans staggered along the way, and I am confident that we will succeed given our trajectory and the support of our stakeholders,” Okpala said.
According to him, in response to the global economy’s increasing digitisation, the group has consolidated its various investments in technology companies and established its own fully owned technology-focused subsidiary – VFD Tech Limited – which has been at the forefront of providing IT support services to the Group as well as leading the various digitization initiatives across all its subsidiaries.
“We have digitized investments in artworks, and investors can now own a piece of the world’s most expensive artworks simply by purchasing units or tokens of the artwork.” This is made possible by Artsplit, our alternative investment subsidiary.
“A similar initiative is also being replicated in the real estate industry.” Through our real estate subsidiary, HEREL, we are digitizing the approach to real estate investing. And, very soon, Nigerians will be able to own a share or unit of property in desirable areas simply by purchasing a token of the asset, which can be transferred, used as collateral for credit facilities, or sold off to potential buyers at a premium,” Okpala said.