In its bid to return Unilever Nigeria to profitability, Unilever overseas last week opened an offer to increase its equity stake in Unilever Nigeria from 50.10 per cent to a maximum of 75 per cent which has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The offer provides shareholders who wish to sell some or all of their shares in Unilever Nigeria opportunity to do so.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited have been appointed financial advisers to Unilever Overseas Holdings.

The offer price represents a premium of 33.8 per cent to company?s closing share price on March 23, 2015. Unilever would acquire up to 942,215,930 shares in company at N45.50 per share in cash and the offer will remain open for acceptance until June 10, 2015.

Total value of transaction at intended offer price is approximately N42.871 billion.

The management of Unilever Nigeria in recent times had been compelled by cash flow pressure to increase its borrowing considerably in the year. Short-term borrowings multiplied four times to N12.06 billion in 2014. The company had announced a drop in profit by nearly one-half in its 2014 financial year in its unaudited report ahead of its upcoming AGM.

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