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EQUATORIAL GUINEA : government opposes takeover of Societe Generale by Vista Group

The Equatorial Guinean Minister of Finance and Budget, Fortunato Ofa Mbo Nchama in a recent tweet announced that the country is not in favor of the takeover of Societe Generale by the Vista Group. This on basis of its right of pre-emption in accordance with the statutes in force and the provisions of the Uniform Act relating to commercial company law and the Ohada economic interest grouping.

The right of pre-emption is the right that allows a person / a State to stand in the buyer position in a sale context. This is an obstacle to contractual freedom justified either by the principle of public interest or for the protection of the tenant. If the Equatorial Guinean State invokes its right of pre-emption to “firmly” denounce Societe Generale’s approach, it is based on Article 771-2 of the Ohada which provides that « it may be stipulated in the articles of association or the agreements that the shareholder who intends to sell all or part of his shares is obliged to notify one or more shareholders who may inform the transferor that they are exercising a right of pre-emption at the price and conditions that have been notified to him ».

In the same vein, the Minister of Finance announces an important meeting in the coming days to settle the case at ones. This exit of Fortunato Ofa Mbo Nchama comes a few days after that of his Congolese counterpart, Jean Baptiste Ondaye, announcing that his country will not sign the agreement to sell Societe Generale Congo because, not respecting the commitments made by the French bank in a letter dated May 31, 2023. As a result, the sale agreement signed on June 7, 2023 between SG and the Vista Bank group remains suspended to the ringing proposals of the Congolese and Equatorial Guinean governments on the takeover of these subsidiaries where they hold less than 10% of the shares respectively.

Read the entire newspaper (PDF) by clicking on the link below :

With a net proceeds of 24 million euros in Equatorial Guinea, 28 million in Congo, Societe Generale is leaving these subsidiaries in CEMAC following an open strategic reflection after Yup, its pan-African mobile payment solution (Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast) was shutdown a year ago. While the French Societe Generale is considering selling three of its banking subsidiaries in the CEMAC zone, it intends to strengthen itself on the sub-regional financial market by immersing itself in asset management. A strategic deployment for the Institution which intends to rely on its Cameroonian subsidiary to invest in this new market segment where 11 approved companies are already active, 10 of which are in Cameroon. Among its divisions in the Cemac zone, Societe Generale Cameroon stood out in 2022 through a net result of 22.8 billion francs, up 46% compared to 2021.


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