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Polaris Bank: CBN reveals new buyer, Strategic Capital, owes N1.30tn balance



The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained the reason there’s a N1.15 trillion difference in the initial amount paid by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL) to acquire Polaris Bank.

Ripples Nigeria had reported that Strategic Capital Investment Limited paid N50 billion to acquire Polaris Bank, an amount far below the N1.21 trillion (difference of N1.15 trillion) CBN and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) invested in the bank.

The central bank and AMCON had invested the amount to revive Polaris Bank after Skye Bank went under. Skye Bank was restructured in 2018, and it was renamed Polaris Bank.

There have been questions regarding the acquisition fee, following reports that the central bank was planning to sell Polaris Bank for N40 billion.

A statement by the Director of corporate communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, said the total amount agreed for the acquisition deal is N1.35 trillion.

It was learnt that the N50 billion is an upfront payment for the acquisition, with Strategic Capital Investment Limited expected to pay a balance of N1.305 trillion, which is the consideration bonds injected.

READ ALSO:Buhari takes drastic decision, converts CBN’s N20tn loan to 9% bonds

CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, said, “This process has provided the CBN with an unprecedented opportunity to recover its intervention funds in full and promote financial stability and inclusive growth.

“We wish SCIL well as they implement growth plans to build the bank from the strong foundations that have been established.”

It was gathered that the Divestment Committee, which includes CBN and AMCON representatives, coordinated the sale, with legal and financial consultants advising during the process.

The statement reads, “The committee conducted a sale process by ‘private treaty’, as provided in Section 34(5) of the AMCON Act to avoid negative speculations, retain value and preserve financial system stability. In the process, parties who had formally expressed an interest in acquiring Polaris Bank, subsequent to the CBN intervention in 2018, were invited to submit financial and technical proposals.”

“Invitations to submit proposals were sent to 25 pre-qualified interested parties, out of which three (3) parties eventually submitted final purchase proposals following technical evaluation.

“All submissions were subject to a rigorous transaction process from which SCIL emerged as the preferred bidder having presented the most comprehensive technical/financial purchase proposal as well as the highest-rated growth plans for Polaris Bank.” CBN disclosed.

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