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Turner Wright ends N54 billion deal with Milost Global

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Dr. Tunde Lawal

Turner Wright Limited (TWL) has ended its business deal with Big Time Holdings Incorporated (BTHI) and Williamsville Smith Management Limited (WSML), associated companies of controversial Milost Global Incorporated that claims to be an American private equity firm.

TWL is a Nigerian company providing solutions in animal health, animal nutrition and hygiene.

Milost had proposed to acquire 70 per cent equity in the Nigerian company, which manufactures veterinary pharmaceuticals, in a deal worth $150 million (about N54 billion) with disbursements expected to conclude within four years.

The investment was subsequently vested in BTHI, one of Milost’s publicly trading entities in the over-the-counter (OTC) market of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) through which it planned to raise capital to fund the transaction.

With WSML as the initial special purpose vehicle (SPV), the investment had failed and was subsequently vested in BTHI.

Like WSML before it, BTHI proceeded to have an agreement with TWL, which would cede 70 per cent of the company to BTHI through a share exchange upon funding and disbursement of agreed capital.

But in a letter signed by its chairman and chief executive officer, Dr. Tunde Lawal, TWL declared: “The agreement shall stand terminated effective May 14, 2019.”

Dr. Lawal explained that the termination became necessary following non-performance on the part of Milost and BTHI.

His words: “The object of the share exchange agreement had not materialised by dint of non-performance on the part of both parties; shares were never exchanged between Turner Wright and BTHI. This brings to a close the relationship between TWL and BTHI.”

According to analysts, the development returned Turner Wright’s fortunes to status quo without encumbrance.

In May 2018, TWL had executed an agreement with New York-based Milost. The facility was supposed to grant Turner Wright up to $150 million ($50 million equity and $100 million convertible note).

TWL said none of Milost’s promises materialised and that in view of the latter’s erroneous and misleading claims, it had no option but to dissociate itself from the company and its associated organisations.

BTHI had issued a statement as early as October 31, 2018 about its filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, reporting the “completion of acquisition or disposition of assets” and “change in shell company status” involving TWL – when the share exchange had clearly not taken place yet, nor the corresponding money draw-downs to TWL been remitted.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had announced that it was investigating Milost’s various contentious deals in Nigeria. These included the failed $1 billion deal to acquire Unity Bank Plc. Another was with Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, which, after revealing it had signed a $350 million financing deal with Milost, decided to pull out of the deal “in view of numerous red flags associated with the proposed equity injection.”


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