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Diamond, Access Banks Merge

JUST IN: Diamond, Access Banks Merge

The board of Diamond Bank Plc, has announced that it had chosen Access Bank as the preferred bidder for its merger plans.

The bank made the announcement in a statement on Monday, ending speculations about the merger it earlier denied.

It would be recalled that both banks had denied any merger or acquisition talks recently, saying they were not in any such talks.

The statement reads: “The Board of Diamond Bank Plc (“Diamond Bank”) today announces that following a strategic review leading to a competitive process, the Board has selected Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank”) as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of the two banks (“the merger”) that will create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.

Read also: Uncertainty trails Access Bank acquisition of Diamond Bank

“The Board of Diamond Bank believes that the merger is in the best interest of all stakeholders including, employees, customers, depositors and shareholders and has agreed to recommend the offer to Diamond Bank’s shareholders. Completion of the merger is 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 N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two (2) New Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven (7) Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation Date.

“The offer represents a premium of 260% to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer.

“Immediately following completion of the merger, Diamond Bank would be absorbed into Access Bank and it will 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.

“Diamond Bank expects the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019.”

The bank had last Friday said in a statement that it had dropped its international banking license for a national license in account of capitalisation concerns.

This followed the sale of its West African Subsidiary and Diamond Bank UK. The sale process is expected to be concluded soon.

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