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Sources: Foreign partner attempts to seize HealthPlus’ accounts, offices

Sources: Foreign partner attempts to seize HealthPlus’ accounts, offices
September 27
21:47 2020

HealthPlus, a pharmaceutical company, says Alta Semper Capital, a foreign private equity firm, has begun to make moves to take over its bank accounts and offices.

A statement seen by TheCable on Sunday quoted sources as saying Alta Semper Capital representatives have arrived the country to begin the process of taking over the company.

HealthPlus, which boasts of 90 pharmacy and beauty retail stores across the country, had earlier raised an alarm alleging that its equity partner was making attempts to illegally take over the company and disowned Chidi Okoro’s appointment as its chief transformation officer.

“It is the handiwork of unscrupulous foreign and local businesswoman and businessmen intent on reaping where they have not sown simply because they now see opportunities from the COVID-19 pandemic, like scavengers and vultures,” a statement released by the company on Saturday read.

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HealthPlus explained that it collaborated with Alta Semper Capital in 2018 to inject fresh capital to further grow the business and the PEF was to exit after five years while Bukky George, its founder and CEO, was prepared to give the PEF a controlling stake in order for them to realise their investment.

“The endeavour was to run into troubled waters primarily on account of Alta Semper’s futile attempts to take over the company, leading to it deliberately starving the company of pledged funds as well as the intransigence of Alta Semper’s owners when reminded of their obligations,” the statement on Saturday said.

Sources say Alta Semper Capital’s representatives have already approached the banks to change the signatories to the company’s account although the plan failed as they did not have a board resolution and the approved minutes of the board meeting.

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“They have approached the banks to change signatories to the company accounts, but the banks have refused to cooperate with them because they do not have a board resolution and the approved minutes of the board meeting. The last board meeting held six months ago and the chairman recently resigned,” a source said.

The representatives were also said to have breached COVID-19 protocols by refusing to self-isolate upon arrival and also breached the country’s immigration laws by attempting to work without work visas.

The PEF is also said to have written a letter, dated September 26 and signed by Afsana Jetha, a director, to notify the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) of a change in leadership in the company.

“The letterhead on which the letter was written, however, is one that is no longer in use and was produced when the company turned 20 in 2019. It also listed as a director, one Mr Deji Akinyanju, who has since resigned from the board,” sources said.

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HealthPlus said Bukky George, its founder, has instituted legal action at the federal high court.

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