‘Tantalizers not ‘my-husband-and-l’ business’
The management of leading fast food Tantalizers has said despite its challenges the company’s leadership position is not in doubt.
The company, in a reaction to a special report published by this newspaper, said the decline in its revenue was not as bad as painted in the report.
Its statement reads: “We wish point your attention to the write-up done by Adedeji Ademigbuji both in the printed and on-line editions of your newspaper, The Nation of Monday 21st July, 2014 titled “Fast Food Industry… not so fast anymore”.
“While appreciating the write and your organisation for the interest in our Industry, we are constrained to express our concerns regarding the wrong financial information and some contradictions concerning Tantalizers Plc in the write-up. For instance: “Tantalizers Plc revenue figure for 2012 was N4.198B. The decline in revenue experienced by our Company was from N4.198B in 2012 to N3.48B in 2013. At no time in our short history have we had a revenue of N41.2B as stated in the publication. You will agree that the difference between N41.2B and N3.48B is too wide and can mislead the public and other stakeholders of Tantalizers. Professionally, Mr Ademigbuji should have gotten his figures right before going to press.
“Under the structure of ownership, corporate governance and business model as expressed in paragraphs 17 to 19, the writer alluded wrongly that tantalizers is owned by the Ayeni. Tantalizers was founded by the Ayenis but Tantalizers has morphed from a “my husband and l business” as described in the publication to being the only local fast food business on the Nigeria Stock Exchange with no fewer than 8000 shareholders.
“Categorising Tantalizers in the same group as some fast food companies where the husband in the Chairman and the wife the Managing Director shows the apparent lack of understanding of the requirements for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This speaks directly to the issue of corporate governance. Tantalizers, as a public quoted company, has a regulated Board of Directors, comprising Dr. Jaiye Oyedotun as the Chairman and Mrs. Bose Ayeni as the Managing Director/CEO and other seven Executive and Non-Executive Directors in a ratio of 2 to 5.
“While Mr. Ademigbuji did not at any time before writing the article under reference speak to anybody in Tantalizers, he quoted copiously from Tantalizers Plc 2013 Annual Report. The strange thing is that the same Annual Report contains details of ownership and the names of the members of the Board of Directors. Mr. Ademigbuji ignored these and chose to accept assertions from the other people he decided to directly contact, as gospel truth. We believe that he deliberately ignored facts and selected information that supported his already taken and biased positions on the cause of the problems afflicting the indigenous fast food industry.
“Mr. Ademigbuji further demonstrated his lack of diligence when he quoted verbatim the President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Mike Itegboje that “… I am not even sure if they have held AGM (Annual General Meeting) since raising funds from the market”. With the prominence and attention given to our Company in this publication and the clear reference to our performance as, according to him, revealed to the Shareholders at our AGM, it is then unfortunate that the impression left in the mind of your readers is that we hadn’t had an AGM since going public. Was this publication intended to disparage of damage our brand?
“We expected that he should have corrected this position presented by Mr. Itegboje or refer to Tantalizers Plc for clarification rather than his approach, which was to public deliberate falsehood or a campaign of calumny. For the avoidance of doubt, Tantalizers, has been consistently holding its AGM since 2009 when it went public. At the last AGM, held on June 25, 2014, our shareholders expressed an understanding of our difficult position and gave valuable suggestions on how to turn around the fortunes of the Company. Some of these suggestions we are already implementing.”
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