Ellah Lakes diversifies into oil palm business

With listing  of an addition 1.88 billion units of shares on the main board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Ellah Lakes Plc has announced its strategic shift into oil palm business, through the acquisition of Telluria Farms.

Ellah Lakes’ listing of these shares on the NSE will create options for investors in the agri-business segment of the NSE. Consequently, this listing is expected to provide increased liquidity to existing shareholders.

Making the announcement at the company’s Fact Behind the Listing on NSE, the outgoing CEO of Ellah Lakes, Frank Ellah, said, “Today marks a milestone in the history of our company. After a number of years of challenging operational performance and trading illiquidity, with our new management in place, I am pleased to see the new trajectory of our growth as a business. We welcome existing and new shareholders to participate in our growth story.”

Also, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chuka Mordi, said, “We are pleased to embark on this new phase in the journey of Ellah Lakes. With the business combination of the assets of Telluria, Ellah Lakes is in a great position to deliver value to all shareholders.  The enlarged Ellah Lakes is built on a foundation of growth to meet the needs of Nigerians for agricultural products, both as retail consumers and as industrial partners. We believe and expect to partake in Nigeria’s growth story as we continue to support the communities we operate in and all our stakeholders.”

Managing Director of MBC Securities Limited, Olutoyin Ayoade said until 2016, Ellah Lakes produced and marketed freshwater fish. But given the company’s inability to operate in the Niger-Delta region as a result of militancy and other security challenges in the area, it has become necessary to chart a new strategy course to ensure on-going existence and future prosperity of the company.

“After evaluating various options, the company decided to pursue a business combination with Telluria Limited, which is a farming and food processing company with over 2,000 hectares of palm land in Edo State with specialisation in cultivation and processing of oil palm and other products for local and export markets.

“The opportunity provided by Telluria offered by Ellah is a resuscitation and growth strategy that will return Ellah Lakes into a competitive position in the market place. The combined transaction has strengthen Ellah Lakes balance sheet, provided access to the market and improve business operation and create organisational efficiency that will drive profitability and increase shareholders value,” he said.

Also, the chief executive of NSE, Oscar Onyema said that “We are certain that the listing has marked the beginning of a new era for the company post the previous shut down of its operations due to militant activities and vandalization of the company’s assets. The new management team has however successfully revived the company’s operations and turned around its listing status at the NSE.”

Onyema stated that the Exchange recognizes the role played by the board, management and other parties in the Telluria Limited acquisition transaction, saying that “We also commend ongoing efforts to restructure and diversify the company’s operations from fish farming to a more competitive business in oil palm cultivation and processing. We believe that this new business strategy will position the company as a major player in the Agriculture sector.”

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