Health Plus, a pharmaceutical company, has accused Alta Semper Capital, a foreign private equity firm (PEF), of a fraudulent attempt to take over its business.
In a rejoinder to a press release earlier issued by the PEF, Health Plus dismissed the appointment of Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer and the claim that Olubukunola Adewunmi George, Chief Executive Officer, remains a director and shareholder.
Health Plus stated that it entered into a five-year partnership with Alta Semper Capital in 2018 to inject fresh capital to further grow the business.
George, the rejoinder stated, was prepared to give PEF a controlling stake in order for them to realise their investment.
However, it added, PEF started working of schemes aimed at taking over the business after seeing the vastness of the Nigerian market.
PEF, according to Health Plus, deliberately starved the company of funds, neglected its obligations to the business, appointed Okoro as CTO and was running the company in utter disregard for George’s wishes.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors was said to have resigned two days ago while another director resigned five weeks ago over the debilitating effect of the impasse on the company.
The rejoinder stated that George had, in May 2020, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court (FHC/L/CS/609/2020) seeking to stop HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited (the investment vehicle used by Alta Semper Capital and which they control) and their nominee directors from continuing to run and manage the company with disregard to her interests as a member of the Company.
After being served the court summons, PEF appealed for a mediation of the crisis outside court, a process frustrated after three meetings in three months.
Alta Semper thereafter filed an arbitration claim in England.
“Alta Semper’s latest actions, including the arbitration claim that it has now filed, constitute a serious affront to the authority of the Court seised of the suit, a desecration of the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system and a gross violation of Nigeria’s extant legislation.
“The General Public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, our Staff, loyal Customers, Vendors, Landlords, Bankers and all Stakeholders are advised to totally disregard and ignore the earlier unauthorised Press Release from those who have no real stake in the Company, its employees or Nigeria.
“Mrs. Bukky George remains the Founder & CEO of the Company and is focused on preserving and growing this national treasure,” the rejoinder read.