BEDC Mgt Douses Customers’ Fears Over Company’s Status

…Insists no basis for takeover by Fidelity Bank

The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, (BEDC) Plc has debunked news of the alleged takeover of the company by Fidelity Bank Plc.

Reacting to the development, management of the company contended that there was no legal basis for the takeover of the company following the purported activation of the call on its collateralised shares by Fidelity Bank.

It explained that the purported activation seeks to take over the respective Boards of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, and BEDC Electricity Plc (the DisCos) over the inability to repay the loans obtained to acquire majority stakes in the DisCos in furtherance of the 2013 privatisation exercise.

In a statement on Thursday signed by Ibeamaka Odoh, BEDC’s Corporate Affairs Officer, and made available to journalists in Benin, Edo State, the company noted that “The referenced report also alleges that certain parties have been appointed as Board Members, Independent Directors, and Managing Director of BEDC Electricity Plc. We understand these appointments have been communicated to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

The BEDC management however insisted that “There is no contractual, statutory or regulatory basis for such,” adding that, “For the avoidance of doubt, the shares of BEDC have not been given as security to Fidelity Bank or to any other party.”

The statement further posited that “As we understand it, Vigeo Holdings Limited (VHL – a non-shareholder of BEDC) obtained credit facilities from Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, and Keystone Bank Plc (the VHL Lenders).

“We further understand that the said credit facilities (and any enforcement action in relation thereto) have in the meantime become subject of litigation in a Court action instituted by VHL and other plaintiffs (the VHL Action) with Suit No: FHC/L/CS/239/22 – Vigeo Holdings Limited and 4 Ors v. Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, and therefore, subjudiced.”

Warning that any attempt by Fidelity Bank and/or BPE to intervene in BEDC in the manner being reported would be “illegal, unlawful and will be resisted,” the company consequently, urged its customers, investors and partners in the electricity business to ignore the trending reports.

The BEDC management assured them of continuing smooth operation, as the company remained “Focused on its mission to ensure delivery of quality and reliable electricity to the good people of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States.”

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