UNIONDICON: Bua Group eyes 51% equity stake


By Peter OBIORA investadvocate

July 09, 2010 16:00 GMT




The BUA Group a company that has built a formidable clout in industrial and commercial activities in the real sector of the Nigerian economy is eyeing 51 percent equity stake (51%) in Union Dicon Salt Plc (UNIONDICON). A source (name withheld) at the company’s Kariko Towers Head Office confirmed this to investadvocate recently in Lagos Nigeria.



“Before July 2010 runs out, we are likely to seal a deal with Bua Group a company willing to acquire 51% stake in UNIONDICON” the source affirmed.


The source further affirmed to investadvocate that talks are ongoing between UNIONDICON and Bua Group coming in as core investor to acquire 51% stake in the salt manufacturing company.


This is coming on the heels of UNIONDICON’s last Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held June 24 2009 in Kaduna Nigeria to fashion ways of revitalizing the company once holding sway in the  Food/Beverages & Tobacco sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).


As earlier reported by the press, core investors have being eyeing stakes in UNIONDICON in order to revitalize it.


Before this time, Finance Batun Oil and Gas Limited, a company that markets refined petroleum products, sort to take up 10 per cent (10%) equity stake in UNIONDICON. But this was stalled due to the Capital Market meltdown and global economic crisis; which made the company back out of the bid. “Batun Oil backed out because they couldn’t secure loans from the Banks to fund its proposed plans of investing in (UNIONDICON)” the source said.



Investadvocate further confirmed that the decision to allow core investors take a stake in the company was to bring UNIONDICON back to reckoning as the largest producer of salt in Nigeria. Shareholders of the company at an EGM held in Kaduna Nigeria June 2009 were to take a decision to this effect.


It was also confirmed that the refurbishment of the company’s factory in Port Harcourt is almost completed in preparation to commence full scale production if the deal with Bua Group is sealed.



UNIONDICON came under a new management following the appointment of Col Henry Mgbemena (Rtd) as the Acting Managing Director (Ag MD) of the company.



Col Mgbemena for the past two (2) years has worked tirelessly to bring the company to reckoning in order to commence operations and reward its investors.



Earlier before this time, Col Mgbemena had affirmed that as part of turning around the company for good; and in order to add value to its stakeholders, UNIONDICON met with the Management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to discuss some of the company’s problems and the way forward.



UNIONDICON was established in 1984 and was listed on the Floor of the NSE on September 23 1993 and it is the largest producer of salt in Nigeria.



Also, it has two (2) ultra-modern factories, one in Lagos and the other in Port Harcourt with a total installed production capacity of 700, 000 Metric tons Per Annum (PA).


On its part, in its bid to consolidate on its various achievements, the Bua Group continues to explore actively – locally and internationally – for sound pockets of investment in line with the its vision of unlocking opportunities and remaining a first class regional and international conglomerate.


BUA International Limited, the parent company and arrowhead was set up over 20 years ago, as a Private Limited Liability Company (PLC) to undertake the importation and marketing of iron & steel, agricultural, industrial chemicals and other manufacturing activities.


Today, the areas of business interests of the Bua Group span from Manufacturing of Sugar, Cement, Flour Milling, Oil Milling, Port Concession, Real Estate Development, Oil & Gas and Shipping. Little wonder its proposed plans to acquire stake in UIONDICON and going into salt manufacturing


However, as at the time of filling in this report, investadvocate could not confirm details of this deal from Bua Group.





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