Shareholders Endorse Access Bank’s Plan to Merge with Diamond Bank Plc

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Wednesday, March 06 2019 10.35AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV

 

In an overwhelming vote of 98% of its shareholders Access Bank Plc’s Board of Directors received approval of its plan to merge with digital retail banking avatar and rival Diamond Bank Plc. 

This was at the instance of a Federal High Court of Lagos ordered extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of  Access Bank’s shareholders held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island. 

Chaired by Dr (Mrs) Ajoritsedere Josephine Awosika on behalf of the substantive Chairman Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, it was an opportunity for the bank to explain the details of the bank’s proposed scheme of merger to its shareholders. 

Speaking at the EGM, the Group Managing Director of the Bank Mr Herbert .O. Wigwe analysed the value of the merger to Access Bank, which involves; 

  • The expansion of the Access Bank retail base in Nigeria and Africa, positioning it as the leading retail bank in the region.
  • Deepening Financial Inclusion in Nigeria which both Access and Diamond Bank banks have pursued separately.
  • Expanding the market reach of Access Bank and improving customer convenience at dall the 600 branches and the bank’s financial touch-points, which will be complemented with distributed channels. 
  • Leveraging Diamond Bank which has a formidable retail business with the largest retail customer base in Nigeria. The Enlarged Access Bank will serve 27 million retail customers, almost double the number of customers of any other bank in Nigeria and more than any other bank in Africa.
  • A robust balanced sheet size for the Enlarged Access Bank which will equip it to provide credit lines to a more diversified client base.
  • The merger will lead to a formidable Access Bank commercial banking business, through the combination of the customers and by leveraging combined product offerings and market capabilities.

 

Shareholders at the event commended Access Bank on steps taken so far in completing the merger process. 

They called on the management to ensure that the post-merger integration for Access-Diamond Bank is seamless and the issue of legacy loans are addressed. 

From Mr Adebayo Adeleke, Mr Patrick Ajudua, Mrs Bisi Bakare, Muktar Muktar , Sir Sunny Nwosu and Mr Nona Awoh, the shareholders emphasized the need for Access Bank to focus on achieving consistent return on investments and dividend payments. 

Mr Wigwe reassured the shareholders that Access Bank will work assiduously to drive shareholder value accretion. 

Highlights of the event was the overwhelming support of shareholders in attendance (representing N14bn worth of shares) who supported the merger. 

With the shareholders vote of confidence, the stage has been set for what will be one of the biggest bank mergers in the history of Nigeria’s financial services industry. 

The financial advisors for the Access Bank merger plan with Diamond are Chapel Hill Denham Limited and Union Capital Markets Limited. 

The Extraordinary General Meeting was also witnessed by regulators in the capital market the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigeria Stock Exchange.


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