Authorities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have suspended trading on the shares of Ikeja Hotel PLC in response to the high-stake dispute in the Ibru family. The Ibrus own the majority shareholdings in the hospitality and tourism company.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been notified of the suspension. The suspension will be in place until further notice.
In a suspension notice, the Exchange 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.
The Exchange noted that the full suspension was taken “to safeguard the investments of shareholders of Ikeja Hotel Plc following the continued dispute between the major shareholders which has negatively impacted on the company’s governance structure”.
The NSE stated that it acted pursuant to the provisions of rule 15.45: suspension on trading of securities, rulebook of the Exchange, 2015. The suspension took effect on November 10, 2016.
The Nation had earlier reported that Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, SEC was scrutinising investigative report on the boardroom crisis at Ikeja Hotel, after the simmering ownership and management crisis within the Ibru family snowballed into a major onslaught by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Reliable capital market sources told The Nation that the capital market regulators had dusted up investigative reports on Ikeja Hotel to review the facts and proactively act to protect shareholders’ interests.
A source at SEC said the apex capital market regulator had received a comprehensive report from the NSE, and the Commission has started reviewing the investigative report in line with the market’s complaint management framework.
Ikeja Hotel, incorporated in 1972 and quoted on the NSE in 2007, controls a chain of hotels directly and through other subsidiaries and affiliates including Tourist Company of Nigeria (TCN) Plc and Capital Hotel Plc. Ikeja Hotel owns Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. TCN owns Federal Palace Hotel while Capital Hotel owns Abuja Sheraton Hotel. The Ibru family owns the single largest individual shareholding.
The EFCC had declared Mr. Goodie Ibru wanted alleging capital market fraud, stealing and money laundering, among others. The family of Mr. Goodie Ibru immediately responded accusing EFCC of bias and mischief, stating that the public notice declaring Goodie Ibru wanted as scandalous, misleading and unfortunate.
In earlier response to the attempt to oust him as chairman, Goodie Ibru had dismissed earlier claims of corporate abuses, noting that those opposed to him had rather ganged up to frustrate attempts to recapitalise the company. Goodie Ibru’s family in the counter-notice to the EFCC notice, reiterated his position that the Ikeja Hotel crisis “centres on family misunderstanding and boardroom politics.”