Shareholders of Linkage Assurance Plc on Monday unanimously refused to endorse the proposed merger agreement with Cornerstone Insurance Plc thus sounding the death knell of the over one year merger arrangement.
The shareholders at the 18th Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos last monday were unanimous in opposing the merger with Cornerstone Insurance. Speaking on behalf of the shareholders, Mr. Boniface Okezie frowned at the 30 per equity given to Linkage with Cornerstone 70 per cent and also the entity name, saying it was too small when compared with the value of the company. He however asked the company to seek for more funds through Rights Issue from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, adding that the shareholders would support the company in that direction rather than merge with Cornerstone Insurance.
Other shareholders spoke in similar vein vowing to resist any attempt by both company to ignore the shareholders’ decision by proceeding with the merger.
In his response, the Chairman of the company, Mr. Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, said that it was obvious that the shareholders were not in support of merger agreement with Cornerstone, adding that over 75 per cent of the shareholders were against the marriage, therefore the company will have no choice than to suspend the plan.
He added that the two companies will meet to deliberate further on what next to do, adding that the shareholders are the owners of the company and the board is left with no choice than to carry out their decision.
It would be recalled that the shareholders of Cornerstone Ins Plc had at the the AGM held in Lagos last week given nod to the company to merge with Linkage Assurance Plc. The merger agreement requires the approval of 75% of each company’s shareholders for it to sail through.