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Merger: Oceanic Signs TIA with Ecobank

By on August 1, 2011

OCEANIC Bank Plc has recorded a milestone in its recapitalisation process, following the signing of Transaction Implementation Agreement (TIA) with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).

When completed, the merged bank would become the third largest in the country.

Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, at the weekend, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr John Aboh, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had already approved the transaction, expressing optimism that the process would be completed on schedule before the September deadline.

“Oceanic Bank is making progress in its recapi-talisation bid by signing TIA with ETI. We will begin the process of seeking regulatory and shareholders’ approvals in accordance with the relevant laws of the land,” he said.

Mr Aboh advised shareholders to exercise caution until when the dealing in the bank’s share transaction were fully disclosed, stating that the merger would be beneficial to shareholders and employees of the bank.

“This deal will benefit both shareholders and employees of the merged entity, as it will become the second or third largest bank in Nigeria.

“It would be a great deal for the bank’s shareholders and employees,” he stated.

On the outlook of the merger, he said, “the Oceanic Bank has 376 branches, while Ecobank Nigeria has about 244 branches, this will take the bank to 620 branches. The deal is not a cash transaction, but an exchange of shares, which is preferable to the board and shareholders,” he stated.

On pending litigation by shareholders on the issue of new investors being sought for the bank, Aboh said there were no litigations by shareholders, stating that the only legal action taken against the bank was the one initiated by the former Managing Director, Mrs Cecilia Ibru, which had been settled since October last year.

Also speaking at the event, chairman of the bank and former Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Apostle Hayford Alile, allayed the fears of shareholders and employees, stressing that the business combination would be beneficial.

ETI is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, a pan African banking group with the banking operations in 31 African countries and France, as well as representative offices in South Africa and London.