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Health Plus with 90 retail stores, 850 employees, faces leadership crisis

. Company condemns purported takeover foreign private equity firm

By David Oladele

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Health Plus

Health Plus Limited has distanced itself from a press statement suggesting a takeover and change of management of the company.

The company also condemned the alleged appointment of Chidi Okoro ‘on secondment as incoming Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) of the Company.

The company claimed that the appointment of the CTO is wholly false, wrongful, and illegal and should be totally ignored.

The company in a rejoinder dated 26 September, titled: ‘Attempted hostile takeover by foreign private equity firm’, and signed by Health Plus Limited management, read below:

“On Friday 25th September 2020, a Press Release was purportedly released by Health Plus Limited announcing the alleged appointment of Chidi Okoro ‘on secondment as incoming Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) of the Company, and that ‘The founder of the Company Mrs. Bukky George continues to be a director and a shareholder’.

“We wish to inform the General Public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, our Staff, loyal Customers, Vendors, Landlords, Bankers, and all Stakeholders that the Press Release was NOT authorised by the Company or anybody acting on its behalf and that the announcement of the appointment of a CTO is wholly FALSE, wrongful and illegal and should be totally ignored.

“It is the handiwork of unscrupulous foreign and local businesswoman and businessmen intent on reaping where they have not sown simply because they now see opportunities from the COVID-19 Pandemic, like scavengers and vultures.

“It is instructive to note that the Chairman of the Board of Directors resigned two days ago and another Director resigned five weeks ago.

“Both gentlemen had been displeased and frustrated by the impasse and its debilitating effect on the Company, its fortunes, employees and above all, the sheer injustice occasioned by it all.

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“HealthPlus, founded in April 1999 by the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Olubukunola Adewunmi (Bukky) George is Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy, the leading pharmacy chain in Nigeria and the fastest growing in West Africa.

 “The Company currently operates over 90 pharmacies and beauty retail stores, located in 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory, employs over 850 Nigerians and is the largest private employer of pharmacists in Nigeria.

“The Company has a reputation for excellence and takes pride in the integrity of its supply chain. 

“Its extensive product portfolio includes prescription-only-medicines, over-the-counter medicines, nutritional supplements, natural remedies, beauty and grooming products; with a strong emphasis on local procurement and an active drive to uplift the communities they operate in with their range of pharmacy services and free health screenings.

“Thus the endeavour was to run into troubled waters primarily on account of Alta Semper’s futile attempts to take-over the company, leading to it deliberately starving the Company of pledged funds as well as the intransigence of Alta Semper’s owners when reminded of their obligations.

“This present unilateral unlawful attempt that purports to remove Mrs. Bukky George as CEO and install their puppet appointee using the cover-term ‘Chief Transformation Officer’ is the latest escalation of their bid to subvert the laws of Nigeria and perpetuate the foreign domination of a flagship of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry.

“This unprincipled and unethical behaviour, typical of PEF’s who use local stooges to achieve their nefarious ends will continue to be stoutly and vigorously resisted.”

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