Home » Financial loss forces delisting of Arbico, owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu

Financial loss forces delisting of Arbico, owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu

From 1978 listing to Adebutu's financial influence and the current NGX delisting dilemma

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Kessington Adebutu

Arbico Plc, a leading civil engineering contracting company primarily owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, has unveiled plans to voluntarily delist from the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) due to a significant depletion of shareholders’ funds.

This comes in the wake of a tough period for the company, grappling with financial challenges exacerbated by operating difficulties in the Nigerian construction industry.

The company has been navigating a challenging operating landscape in the Nigerian construction sector, leading to financial instability. Its unaudited financial results for the 2023 fiscal year disclosed losses amounting to N1.49 billion ($1 million), marking a substantial setback for the firm.

Arbico’s bold move: Proposes voluntary delisting and navigates transition amidst financial challenges

In a recent notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) scheduled for March 21, 2024, Arbico shared parts of its agenda, including a proposal for voluntary delisting from the Nigerian Exchange.

The agenda also outlined plans for remitting the Scheme Consideration to shareholders, subject to regulatory approvals and compliance with applicable requirements.

This strategic move by Arbico signals a potential new phase for the company and highlights the challenges it faces, transitioning from previous years of profitability to significant losses, pushing retained losses closer to N2 billion ($1.25 million).

The company has engaged with regulatory authorities and stakeholders in the decision-making process and has initiated necessary procedures to ensure a smooth transition from NGX.

From 1978 listing to Adebutu’s financial influence and the current NGX delisting dilemma

Founded in 1958, Arbico Plc has been a top player in Nigeria’s civil engineering contracting landscape since its listing on the Nigerian Exchange in 1978. Kessington Adebutu, the 88-year-old Nigerian gambling magnate and majority owner of Arbico, is renowned for his successful enterprises, including Premier Lotto, known as “Baba Ijebu.”

Adebutu’s strategic leadership has propelled Premier Lotto into a leading lottery and gaming platform with an extensive network of agents and retail representatives. He also holds a 28.15 percent stake in Wema Bank Plc, demonstrating his continued impact on Nigeria’s financial environment through his investment vehicle, Neemtree Limited.

As Arbico prepares to delist from NGX, the company faces a critical juncture in its history. The decision reflects a response to the financial challenges it has encountered, and stakeholders are closely watching the developments, anticipating the impact on the company’s future operations and financial health.

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