VENTURES AFRICA – As part of the reformation programme of Access Bank Plc., shareholders of WAPIC and Intercontinental Properties have given a nod of approval for the merger of both entities. The approval which was given at a court-ordered meeting in Lagos is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on the scope of banking activities in the country.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of WAPIC Insurance Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said the fusion of both firms will have WAPIC insurance as the surviving entity.
Aig-Imoukhuede explained that the board of WAPIC believes the merger will provide considerable benefits and opportunities to shareholders and other stakeholders. He added that the merger will increase WAPIC Insurance’s capital base, thereby enabling the company to grow its premium income and take on sectors where minimum capital requirements are high.
He stated that “with cash constituting over 75 percent of the net assets of Intercontinental Properties, the enlarge WAPIC Insurance will have a larger and more liquid balance sheet.”
The WAPIC boss added that; “The merger will provide an opportunity to leverage on the real estate investment expertise of Intercontinental Properties. The existing assets management capacity of WAPIC Insurance can be deployed towards enhancing the assets of Intercontinental Properties. The merger will provide additional revenue streams with no duplication and higher property efficiency.”
Meanwhile, Timothy Olufemi, President Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria (RSAN), while speaking on behalf of the shareholders, praised WAPIC for its initiative on the conversion rate of two for one ordinary shares given to shareholders.
“It is been very good, the conversion of two to one has been rewarding to shareholders. When you look at the explanation that Intercontinental properties assets would be converted into cash and put into WAPIC, you see that it is a brave idea. This will make the balance sheet of WAPIC Insurance robust to become a large underwriting company to get more value to shareholders.
Olufemi believes that with this development, WAPIC’s balance sheet would be able to withstand any challenges.