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Monday, 17 December 2018

SEC receives Diamond, Access Banks’ merger notice

SEC receives Diamond, Access Banks’ merger notice

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday said it had received the notice of intention by Diamond Bank and Access Bank to merge.

Mr Henry Rowlands, SEC Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, confirmed this to journalists in Lagos.

Rowlands said the commission received the notice on Monday and was waiting for their formal application.

“I can confirm to you that as at Friday Dec. 14 , which was the last working day of last week, no application of any sort was filed with SEC in this respect on this matter.

“If application was not filed, it means that SEC has not given any approval.

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“9.30 am this morning they brought notification of the agreement which SEC did not know of before now.

“The summary of the whole thing is that SEC has not given any approval to the merger.

“Nobody filed any application before and the notification they brought this morning is yet to be approved by SEC. There is no approval yet given by SEC,” Rowlands said.

NAN reports that board of Diamond Bank finally confirmed its acquisition with Access Bank Plc which is expected to be completed first half of 2019.

Both banks recently denied media reports of any merger.

Mr Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said in Lagos that the completion of the merger was subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.

“The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.

“Based on the agreement reached by the boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1 per share in cash,” he said.

Dozie also said the transaction would include the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.

“The offer represents a premium of 260 per cent to the closing market price of 87k per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as of Dec. 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer,” Dozie said.

Dozie said that the proposed combination with Access Bank would create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.

“The board of Diamond Bank believes that the proposed combination of the two operations provides an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses, he said.

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