Lagos State will formally join Odu’a Group of Companies as its sixth owner-state in the next three months, The Nation has learnt.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the regional investments conglomerate, Mr Adewale Raji, announced this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Raji said the process of admitting Lagos as the sixth Southwest owner-state, which started last year, would be completed in the next three months.
The conglomerate is currently owned by five Southwest states of Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun.
According to him, the current owners engaged the services of PricewaterHouse Cooper (PwC) for due diligence and valuation of the assets of the business group to enable all parties determine the amount Lagos State would pay as its share capital.
Lagos State also engaged its commercial consultant for the same purpose.
Raji said the need to be painstaking in determining this made the process look slow, adding that Odu’a considers due diligence, transparency and professionalism in the valuation really important.
The group managing director said the process was at an advanced state and would be completed in the next three months to clear the way for Lagos State to be formally admitted as the sixth shareholder.
He said: “Governor Akinwumi Ambode is committed to the integration of the Southwest.
He believes that social and economic development must go across the six states of the Southwest. He believes there are comparative and competitive advantages every state within the region has and that by having a complementary relationship, we will be better off as a whole. So, we continue to receive great enthusiasm from His Excellency along this line.
“Let me also admit that his brother governors from the other five states have been very supportive of Odu’a aspirations, along with the other platform, the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission. The progress we are making is such that because we are talking about two different entities, we have decided that we are going to be very transparent and accountable through that process, that due diligence must just be followed in that process.
“This required us to assemble the two partners that want to merge. That is, Lagos State as one entity, and the other five states already in Odu’a, to appoint different professional transactional advisers to look through the due diligence and valuation of the current entity called Odu’a. This means they have to scrutinise the real estate property we have across board. They have got to scrutinise all the investments we have, either as associates or subsidiaries.
“That due diligence is going on. Odu’a transactional advisers are led by PricewaterHouse Coppers (PwC) and that due diligence has been going on in a painstaking manner. Lagos State is led by BDO, a company it appointed, and along with all other legal advisers and real estate advisers. They are painstakingly going through the assets and liabilities of Odu’a.
“With this, a valuation can be put to it, a valuation standard that can be met everywhere, can be put in place so that we can then know the fees that Lagos State is going to pay for becoming an equal member of Odu’a…”