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Ikeja Hotel: Shareholders tackle NSE on trading suspension

by Business News Report

Some shareholders of Ikeja Hotel Plc say the decision of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to place the company’s shares on full suspension after over one year of corporate governance is belated. The shareholders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that the suspension was uncalled for.

Mr Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), told NAN that the belated decision was not in the interest of the minority shareholders. Okezie said that the minority shareholders expected the NSE to act when the shareholders removed Mr Goddie Ibru as the Chairman on Jan. 6, 2015.

He said that the NSE was playing to the gallery and failed to act when it mattered most to protect the minority shareholders of the company.

“We expected the NSE and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act on the matter long before now, especially after the Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) last year. We don’t know if NSE is acting now because of Goddie Ibru’s investigation by EFCC,’’ Okezie said. Mr Godwin Anono, Chairman, Nigeria Professional Shareholders Association, said that stopping trading on the shares now was not good for investors.

Anono said that the company had gone through a lot of litigation in the past; the shareholders expected SEC’s intervention before now.

He said that investor protection was paramount but should be done at the right time.

NAN reports that the NSE on Nov. 10 suspended trading on the shares of Ikeja Hotel in response to the high-stake dispute in the Ibru family. The Ibru family owns the majority shareholdings in the hospitality and tourism company. The SEC has been notified of the suspension. The SEC noted that the suspension would be in place until further notice.

In a suspension notice, the SEC stated that it has placed full suspension on Ikeja Hotel, implying that no trading will henceforth take place in the shares of the company.

Unlike technical suspension where trading can take place without price movement, full suspension disallows both trading and price movement.

SEC noted that the full suspension was taken “to safeguard the investments of shareholders of Ikeja Hotel Plc following the continued dispute between major shareholders who had negatively impacted on the company’s governance structure”.

The NSE stated that it acted in pursuant to the provisions of rule 15.45: suspension on trading of securities, rulebook of the Exchange, 2015. The suspension took effect on Nov. 10, 2016. NAN also reports that the EFCC recently declared Mr Goodie Ibru wanted alleging capital market fraud, stealing and money laundering, among others.


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