Acquisition of Diamond Bank by Access Bank Plc has been sealed and awaiting regulatory approval and procedures, multiple sources confirmed.
In a report by TheCable, the acquisition was facilitated by the Central Bank of Nigeria and an official announcement of the deal will be made available to investors and shareholders during the week.
No need for the public to panic as “the bank is in safe hands”, The Cable quoted a Diamond Bank official.
In a similar development, Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa reported last month that the two commercial banks are in talks over merger and acquisition deal. Quoting The Nation Newspaper report, sources familiar with the matter said the deal is a complete acquisition and not merger.
Formalities and other procedures of the deal are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. The newspaper gathered that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition
“This is a done deal, I think the process is just to get various regulatory approval and formalities done,” a banking source tells Business Insider SSA by Pulse on Sunday night, December 16, 2018.
Although the two lenders, Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc had earlier denied talks over an acquisition deal.
Why Access Bank is acquiring Diamond Bank?
Diamond Bank has been looking for ways to clear its huge debt by settling its $200 million Eurobond maturing early next year as well as a $51 million International Finance Corp. loan. It recently exited international banking by selling off its UK and South African assets and returned as a national bank with a regulatory approval by Nigeria’s central bank.
“They need more equity for the business to survive and move forward,” another source had told Business Insider SSA by Pulse.
In November, Diamond Bank was the worst stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, losing 54$ of its value. No confirmation from banks yet and repeatedly calls to Isaac Okoroafor, the spokesperson of the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) was unconnected on Sunday evening.