VFD Group has described itself as the ‘Berkshire Hathaway of Nigeria’ after expanding its portfolio to 40 different companies and raising its assets base from a meagre N3m to N150bn in a space of 14 years.
Nonso Okpala, the Group Managing Director of the company gave the description on Friday during the company’s ‘facts behind the figures’ presentation after listing by way of introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.
The NGX admitted 190,027,365 ordinary shares of 50k of VFD Group with a share price of N244.88 per share.
With the listing, VFD Group has added N46,533,901,141.2 to the market capitalisation of the NGX, THE WHISTLER can report.
VFD Group started in 2009 when 35 shareholders raised N2.5m to build an investment proprietary company with a diversified investment portfolio in private equities, venture capitals and assets management companies among others.
Fourteen years later, the company has invested in 40 companies in across seven sectors including finance, health, tech, entertainment, power, telecommunications and service.
Some of rhe companies are Anchoria Asset Management, VFD Microfinance Bank, Anchoria Investment and Securities Ltd, Amali, Atiat and Piggyvest among others.
Within 14 years, the company has gathered an impressive growth trajectory from a total asset of N3m and shareholders fund of N2.5m in 2009 to N149.1bn in total assets and N31.5bn in shareholders’ fund respectively.
“We have unwavering determination to become the largest investment company in Africa,” the GMD said while explaining the facts behind the company’s listing on the NGX.
He said, “The VFD story like I mentioned is quite a remarkable one. VFD was started with a seed capital of N2.5m it sounds a lot like a fairy tale. That is the truth and it was contributed by 35 shareholders. These are people that beyond their money committed their time.
“One thing we wanted to do regardless of our balance sheet was to develop a track record of success so that we can show people what we can do. 14 years down, we have investments in 40 companies and we have deployed about N150bn in total investments. We think that we are uniquely positioned to become Africa’s largest proprietary investment company.”
When investing, the VFD GMD said the company considers broad-based shareholding, a collaborative approach based on governance and usually targets a non-controlling stake of 20 per cent to 35 per cent.
The VFD Group eyes the listing of the 40 companies it has invested in on the Nigerian Exchange Group Ltd.
“When you invest in so many companies, you will find out that all of a sudden you will start to see your opportunities of grossing, leverage and partnership. For VFD in the last 14 years, there are so many companies including the digital bank that we have, the assets management company that we have, the real estate and hospitality company that we have and we have all set up that is now uniquely being positioned for listing on the exchange.
“That easily will show and release those value of those companies and those investments on our balance sheet and ultimately will avail money for forward investments and also distributions to shareholders.”
Okpala said the critical enablers for the success of VFD are governance, risk management and investor relationship.
“I think over the 14 years, we have done something and be consistent in building out this business model and I can say with all humility that there is no company that has been so consistent to building out these sets of skills within this business model like we have done in VFD. That is why we regard ourselves as the Berkshire Hathaway of Nigeria,” Okpala said.
Berkshire Hathaway founded and chaired by Warren Buffett has investments in 120 companies- property and casualty insurance, utilities, restaurants and food processing among others.
VDF GMD said out of the 40 companies it has invested in, 20 of them are close to maturity adding, “And we think that if you cast us in the same trajectory, we will do very well and we will make a compelling case for investors be it local and international investors.”