Skye Bank Plc is considering the purchase of one of the nine banks rescued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year.
The bank's Chief Financial Officer, Kunle Adedigba, told Reuters last weekend that Skye Bank expressed its interest to acquire one of the banks to the CBN. “"The CBN consultants approached a number of Nigerian banks to express interest, but I don't know how many did. Skye Bank will make its decision on whether to bid based on the price the CBN is asking. But the bank will consider any outstanding legal issues, and guarantees for unknown loan provisions,” said Adedigba.
Fidelity Bank had also expressed its intention to acquire one of the rescued banks bringing to two the local banks that have publicly disclosed filling application to the CBN.Two South African banks also declared their interest last week. Standard Bank of South Africa said it was buying one of the nine Nigerian banks, likewise FirstRand SA.
The Chief Executive officer of Stanbic IBTC, a subsidiary of Standard Bank, Chris Newson, said Standard Bank registered interest with the CBN to buy one of the Nigerian banks. Newson said there is great opportunity in Nigeria and that Standard Bank is exploring either organic or acquisitive growth.
The Managing Director of FirstRand, Sizwe Nxasana, said FirstRand also declared its interest to buy one of the banks. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said last week at the Economist Conference in Lagos that local and foreign investors have indicated interest in the banks. He added that the monetary authority was at the stage of technical assessment of the investors prior to short listing a few. Sanusi assured that CBN would not stand the way of any foreign investor but pointed out that it is not looking for a foreign investor with short-term view.
The Banks for purchase or acquisition are those the CBN bailed out with N620 billion after finding them in ‘grave conditions’ following the special examinations results of August 14 and October 2. The Banks are Union Bank, Afribank, Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, FinBank, Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Wema Bank.
The CBN had asked potential bidders for the banks to register their interest in the troubled institutions by mid-December last year to test the appetite for acquisitions. The regulator is yet to publish the names of the interested parties