The lawyers to Mrs Bukky George, the CEO of Health Plus Limited, ALP NG & CO. and A. MUOKA & CO., which represents the company, have asked the general public to ignore the purported termination of Mrs Bukky George’s appointment as CEO, which they said “cannot stand in law”.
According to a statement co-signed by the legal practitioners titled “Public Notice – Re: Health Plus Limited” dated 29th September, 2020, “Mrs Bukky George remains the Founder & CEO of the Company and continues to run the Company with the support of staff, suppliers, customers, landlords, banks and service providers – who have related with her over 20 years, who believe in her and her vision, and have helped her build the Company to the enviable brand it has become. The purported termination of her appointment as CEO cannot stand in law”.
The lawyers further stated that the notice “serves as a caveat to the general public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharmacy Associations, our staff, loyal customers, vendors, landlords, bankers and all stakeholders to disregard all communication from Alta Semper Capital and or its nominees and agents. They do not have any authority to issue directives on behalf of or bind Health Plus Limited. The dispute is sub-judice”.
In 2018, they stated, HealthPlus partnered with Alta Semper Capital LLC UK to inject fresh capital to grow the business.
“Alta Semper pledged Africa-focused, healthcare-focused, flexible capital to take advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace in order to scale the business. The investment into HealthPlus was to enable the Company to capture the pent-up demand for high-quality yet affordable medicines, healthcare products and beauty supplies, to rapidly expand the Company’s footprint across Nigeria, establish a distribution centre, develop B2B channels and e-commerce. Alta Semper Capital undertook to commit USD18 million into HealthPlus whilst retaining Mrs. Bukky George as CEO,” the statement added.
Alta Semper Capital however provided only part of the first tranche of USD10 million with which the Company achieved several of the initiatives in its business plan.
“It soon appeared that they (Alta Semper) were unable to come up with the balance of the equity investment. In May 2020, after 15 months of delayed funding, breached agreements, unmet expectations, dwindling inventory, reputational damage to the Company and its founder, and an attempt to ‘promote’ Mrs. Bukky George to the position of Chairman; Mrs. Bukky George instituted legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court [in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/609/2020] seeking reliefs aimed at stopping Alta Semper Capital and its nominees from running and managing the Company in an oppressive and prejudicial manner and in disregard of her interests as a shareholder.
“There is pending in that case a Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction dated 27th May, 2020 seeking to restrain the Respondents from removing her as CEO”.
Alta Semper Capital, which chose not to file any defence and appealed that the parties mediate their dispute, however, chose to truncate the mediation process after three meetings over a period of three months, the lawyers stated,