To expand its operations all over Africa and allow investors worldwide become part owners of Oando Plc, the company’s board of directors secured the mandate of shareholders on Monday to list the company’s shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The proposed listing, according to the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Wale Tinubu who spoke exclusively with The Guardian on the planned listing said: “We are trying to expand our shareholder base. The new listing would attract foreign investors and enable investors worldwide to subscribe to our shares and become part owners.

In compliance with the listing rules of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company’s board of directors arranged an extra-ordinary general meeting for the shareholders, during which the proposal for listing was approved unanimously.

Amplifying further on the reasons behind the foreign listing, Tinubu said: “A foreign listing is the next logical stop for Oando to achieve its pan-African aspirations.

“The foreign listing will also enhance Oando’s profile to increase strategic partnerships for our group of companies. The JSE is a world class institution with LSE operated trading system, excellent governance and shareholders protection measures. It is also the 16th largest equities exchange in the world.”

On the rationale for a foreign listing, Tinubu said it enhances profile to increase strategic partnerships for Oando group of companies; provides access to financing from international investor; deepens liquidity pool for Oando’s shares, signals Oando’s intention to be differentiated from typical Nigerian companies, and enforces world class governance and operating standards on the group.

Emphasising on why the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) was chosen, Tinubu explained: “General Nigerian opportunity is better understood by the South African business and investors community due to the success of South African business in Nigeria, like MTN; existing investor knowledge of the African integrated oil firm story due to Saso listing; JSE is actively trying to expand its base to companies in other parts of the African continent, and JSE is a world class institution.”

Oando Plc is a group of companies comprising marketing, supply and trading, gas, power, energy services and exploration and production.

In expanding its exploration and production business, Oando Plc recently won a number of oil blocs in the recently concluded 2005 Federal Government bidding process and is currently bidding to acquire the Port Harcourt refinery while developing plans to build a 360,00 bpd Greenfield in the Lagos Export Processing zone (EPZ).

Source: The Guardian Newspaper