First Funds invests N600m in VT Leasing


By Udeme Ekwere  Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010    


First Funds Limited, a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, has invested N600m in an operating and finance lease company, VT Leasing Limited.A statement from VT Leasing on Monday noted that the equity investment was announced at a partnership signing ceremony in Lagos.


It quoted the Managing Director, VT Leasing Limited, Mr. Akin Opeodu, as saying that the investment in VT Leasing consisted of a mix of ordinary shares, preference shares and redeemable convertible note.It explained that through the investment, First Funds would acquire a 22.5 per cent stake in VT Leasing, adding that this was done to reposition the company for greater performance and efficiency in order to serve its numerous customers across the country.Opeodu stated, ”The objective of this investment is to position the company to go public in a few years as I have disclosed during the company‘s 20th anniversary celebration last year. This investment is a critical first step in achieving this goal, as the fund will be primarily focused on achieving the objectives of further expansion of the service portfolio to meet market demands and asset acquisition.


“This is to satisfy growing customer needs, investment in IT leasing software and hardware as well as training and development of our human capital to ensure superior service delivery.”Opeodu disclosed that apart from the financial capital investment, First Funds, would be bringing on board, an irrefutable significant financial experience and expertise.He said, ”This investment in VT Leasing is a demonstration of First Funds‘ confidence in the leasing business in Nigeria as a whole and in the high potential of VT Leasing in particular.


”The investment of N600m will raise the authorised share capital of VT Leasing from 600 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, to one billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.”He noted that despite the global economic gloom, VT‘s income for financial year 2009 stood at N 911m, representing a 20 per cent increase over the income of N766m recorded in 2008.


Also speaking, the Managing Director, First Funds, Ms. Yemisi Tayo-Aboaba, said that the investment in VT Leasing demonstrated its strong belief in the company.She said, ”Leasing in Nigeria has grown in volumes over the years with recent findings showing the industry as second to that of South Africa on the continent and the most rapid in terms of growth.


”The industry has maintained an impressive steady growth within the past few years with assets under lease rising from N115bn in 2005 to N437bn in 2009, a compounded annual growth rate of 40 per cent.“We are delighted to be partnering with the market leader in its niche market of Fork Lift Trucks leases, with a reputation for delivering excellent service. The company is strategically positioned in an industry currently experiencing high growth”.






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