Letshego Holdings, the titanic micro-lending outfit, is planning to raise P 350 million through a share preference scheme that is expected to be put before shareholders at a special AGM next month.
Colm Patterson, the company’s financial director told Sunday Standard that the cash is expected to strengthen the operations of the company as it intends to widen its footprint across the African continent.
“The share preference scheme will ensure that the existing shareholders increase their shareholding in Letshego and the exercise is open to all our shareholders,” he said.
Letshego Holdings is the oldest and the largest micro-lending company in the country with a book value of over P 1 billion. It has other operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Swaziland and Zambia while plans are afoot to open other operations in Mozambique and Ghana in the near future.
“We believe that this would be a good time for shareholders to participate in the share preference scheme exercise,” the directors of the company said, adding that “this would provide a solid base to work on” in relation to regional expansion.
As part of sweetening the deal, shareholders will buy preference shares at a discounted price of P 12.00 per share against the company’s trading price of P 15.70.
“We would like it to be attractive to shareholders and would issue it at P 12.00 and we think that it is in the best interest of shareholders,” Patterson said.
According to the plan, after the January Special AGM, the offer will be open for a period of up to three weeks provided that the meeting approves it.
In the four new countries where the company is operating within, it is already showing some impressive results.
Further, the company is expected to issue a debt instrument to the tune of P 1 billion which has already been approved by shareholders. The details of the structured plan are expected to unfold in the coming year as it tries to bolster its position in the African continent.
Africa has shown a great support for micro-lending companies which ordinarily have flexible rule as compared to the traditional banks.