Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc is in the business of Cocoa Butter Export, Cocoa Cake Export and Cocoa Powder Production for local consumption, Instant Chocolate dry-mix and chocolate drink
The company’s estimated asset is set to be over N10 billion, most of it in state-of-the-art machinery bought through multi-layered financing arrangements with NEXIM (Nigeria’s export promotion bank) and Skye Bank, supported by some foreign backers of the audacious entrepreneur, Dimeji Owofemi.
The company was incorporated in 1999 and became a public limited liability company in 2008, the desire for expansion became the very thing that set the company on a downward path. In order to expand its operating facility towards improving its economies of scale and profitability, it attempted to raise N6.2 billion equity through a Private Placement Offer (PPO). Thinking nothing could go wrong, it secured a 180-day bridge loan from Skye Bank Plc. towards the early commencement of the production of the composite plant. Unfortunately, it was about the same time as the global 2008 crisis; investors were terrified. The private placement was undersubscribed; not willing to take chances, Skye Bank placed the Multi-Trex loan with AMCON – a move the bank made supposedly to free-up liquidity.
By October 2014, the CBN came up with a circular, permitting DMBs to resume lending to AMCON-Obligors albeit with perceived unattractive terms and conditions. By November, it was finally able to offer a new repayment program to AMCON. Things sped up when Justice Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, threw out the case as an abuse of court process, amongst others. It was at this point that Multitrex regained the power to immediately take over possession of its factory premises and reopen for business.
By August 2017, both AMCON and the company reached an amicable resolution, with the management of AMCON giving access to the company to carry out all necessary activities towards the eventual commencement of operation. The resolution gave the business the opportunity to commence operations in the last quarter of 2017. Having come out of ‘jail,’ what waited on the other side were defaulted listing obligations, negative retained earnings, and more.
Even with Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) concluding arrangements to provide a N5 billion loan to the company as working capital – their little bit to support the growth of the private sector, the journey ahead is steep. The company is still on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s Caveat list, as they appear to be distressed. Multi-Trex will pay for its two years of closure with stunted growth for an even longer period, a fate that is a product of the society it exists in as well as a few left turns on its part. Given the unfavourable economic terrain, Multi-Trex has even more to fight for until it regains its balance.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dimeji Owofemi – managing director/CEO
Yusuf Islaka- Deputy managing director
Sade Bafunso – executive director
Km 29, Lagos Ibadan Expressway, Berger Olowora, Ifo, Ogun, Nigeria
Phone: 08096778328. 07033815410
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