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Nigerian Gambling Tycoon Kessington Adebutu’s Arbico Delisted Due to Financial Losses

Arbico Plc, a leading civil engineering contracting firm majority-owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, has announced plans to voluntarily delist from the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) due to a large depletion of shareholder capital.

This comes after a challenging period for the company, which has had financial troubles exacerbated by operational difficulties in the Nigerian construction industry.

The company has been negotiating a difficult operating environment in the Nigerian construction sector, resulting in financial instability. Its unaudited financial reports for the fiscal year 2023 indicated losses of N1.49 billion ($1 million), representing a significant setback for the company.

Arbico has announced an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on March 21, 2024, which included a motion for voluntarily delisting from the Nigerian Exchange.

The agenda also included intentions to remit the Scheme Consideration to shareholders, subject to regulatory clearances and compliance with applicable criteria.

Arbico’s strategic decision heralds a potential new phase for the company and emphasizes the challenges it confronts, as it transitions from years of prosperity to considerable losses, bringing retained losses closer to N2 billion ($1.25 million).

The company has spoken with regulatory authorities and stakeholders during the decision-making process and has implemented the required procedures to enable a smooth transition from NGX.

Arbico Plc, founded in 1958, has been a dominant force in Nigeria’s civil engineering contracting environment since its IPO on the Nigerian Exchange in 1978. Kessington Adebutu, the 88-year-old Nigerian gambling billionaire and main owner of Arbico, is well-known for his profitable businesses, which include Premier Lotto, also known as “Baba Ijebu.”

Adebutu’s strategic leadership has moved Premier Lotto to the forefront of the lottery and gaming industry, with a large network of agents and retailers. He also owns a 28.15 percent share in Wema Bank Plc, proving his continuous influence in Nigeria’s financial sector through his investment company, Neemtree Limited.

As Arbico prepares to delist from the NGX, the company enters a pivotal period in its history. The decision is a response to the financial issues it has faced, and stakeholders are keenly monitoring the developments to see how they will affect the company’s future operations and financial health.

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