Access, Diamond Bank’s MDs confirm merger, not acquisition



The managements of Access Bank and Diamond Bank have confirmed that the latter is dissolving into the first.

Diamond’s Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, confirmed that at the end of the process in the first quarter of next year, the bank would cease to exist.

He, however, stressed that it was merging with Access Bank because it was the preferred bidder.

Dozie said the potential merger of the two banks would create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers adding that the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019 was in the best interest of all stakeholders.

He said, “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 N1 per share in cash,” he said.

“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 as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer,” Dozie said.

He added that the bank’s shares would be absorbed into Access Bank at the completion of the merger and Diamond Bank would cease to exist under Nigerian law.

“The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled upon the merger becoming effective,” he explained

On his part, Access Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, expressed confidence that the bank could handle the transformation.

He said, “Access Bank has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy.

“Access Bank and Diamond Bank have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking.

“This could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”

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