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SAN unveils new book to bridge gap between business owners, private equity investors

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Professor Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) has unveiled his new book ‘The Law & Practice of Private Equity’ in an online event on November 17.

The book, which has been in the works since 2014, was published by Thomson Reuters in September of 2020.

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On the reason why he wrote the book, Prof. Ajogwu, said: “it is to stir discussions on private equity as the common thread of the book is the legal and practical issues in private equity. The book discusses private equity with an emphasis on the business and legal considerations that should be of interest to investors and investees, and onlookers alike.”

He explained that business in the world faces the blessing and problem of obtaining valuable financing. The fight to get funding for a business venture often leads to massive debt for a fledgling enterprise and its many disadvantages. Following the paradigm shift from an industrial society to an information society, the entrepreneur’s role has shifted from being an inventor of product/services to a value creator. Hence, the focus of entrepreneurial ventures has shifted towards creating viable business models rather than superior products/services. Private equity has come in to fill this financing gap and provide itself as a credible financing option for businesses in emerging markets

Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund Managers, Mrs. Tariye Gbadegesin, stated that the book could not have come at a better time as according to her “We can’t build the economy on debt alone, and this has given rise to other financing options.”

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In his remarks about the advantages of Private Equity, the Chief Financial Officer, Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited, Anthony Emeka Ogbechie, said: “executing capacity of relevant stakeholders, corporate governance, as well as the commitment of investors to the success of investee companies, are the advantages of utilising private equity”.

He also stressed the importance of working with legal experts in every step of negotiating and closing financing deals, as doing otherwise has dire consequences.

The book has been praised by many as an invaluable resource and guide for SMEs owners and entrepreneurs with brilliant startup ideas but is torn between choosing traditional financing sources, public stock, and private equity to meet their funding needs. It is also worthy of note that the book offers information on the relevant legal framework to help those engaging in private equity deals to do so within the provisions of the law and regulatory requirements.

According to the Dean of Lagos Business School, Professor Enase Okonedo, in reviewing the book, “a void of knowledge will be filled as the book draws real-life examples from businesses that have benefitted from private equity and highlight private equity as a significant option for startups, as well as businesses that cannot afford debt financing, arising from the inability to meet the requirements”.

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The Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “The author did not limit himself to local laws and scenarios; he examines and analyses private equity transactions and deals in developed and developing countries and jurisdictions.”

The Regional Chief Executive, West African Region, Standard Bank, Yinka Sanni, also had this to say: “I am optimistic that lessons taught by the book being presented today will encourage and embolden Nigerian fund managers to go beyond dipping a toe in the river of private equity investing and ultimately contribute to Nigeria’s and Africa’s economic development and prosperity.”

The online book presentation had notable guests in the capital market industry, such as Derrick Roper, CEO of Novare Holdings and Novare Equity Partners, who wrote the foreword of the book, and legal experts.

The book is published by Thomson Reuters and is available in both hardback and e-book versions. Undoubtedly, a wholesome exposition of the subject (as has been made in the book) will contribute significantly to the development and practice of private equity in Nigeria. Copies are available for purchase at Commercial Law Development Service.

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