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Finance group to invest N112.5b in Union Bank

By on March 23, 2011

Union Bank has signed a memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the African Capital Alliance Consortium (ACA Consortium ) to invest N112.5 billion ($750 million) in the bank. This is sequel to the earlier announcement that the bank had entered into negotiation with a core investor.





A release from the bank signed by its spokesperson, Francis Barde, added that the MOA will in the main, provide a framework for the process by which the bank will be recapitalised.

“However, the entire process will be subject to the approval of the bank’s shareholders, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the Federal High Court,” Mr. Barde further said.

The ACA Consortium is a group of institutional investors led by African Capital Alliance (ACA), a leading independent private equity firm investing in West Africa, principally in Nigeria and Gulf of Guinea.

The ACA Consortium was founded in 1997 with a mission to build Africa’s premier private equity investment firm by mobilising capital, technology, and management resources from local and international sources to unlock Africa’s private sector potential.

The ACA Consortium, which will invest as Union Global Partners Limited, consists of ACA B-Holding Limited, (comprising an ACA managed fund, FMO Netherlands, an international development financial institution, and other co-investors), TRG Management LLP, The Keffi GroupVIII LLC (comprising the Keffi group and other United States-based institutional investors), ABC Holdings Limited (Bank of Botswana) and the Discovery Group.

Status enhancement

The bank said its recapitalisation by the ACA Consortium will enhance its liquidity, corporate governance, and capital adequacy and restore its strong competitive position.

Union Bank is among the banks rescued in 2009 by the CBN, and the chief executive officers sacked. The regulator then injected about N120 billion to save the bank from imminent collapse.

At a meeting held with shareholders in October, the various interest groups in Union Bank agreed that the management should pursue its recapitalisation plans in order to restore the bank to its prime position in the Nigerian banking industry. They agreed that the new core investor should have been in existence for years, with known financial pedigree and global clout that will give the bank leverage in the industry.

“The forum also suggested that the board and management should involve credible shareholders with substantial holdings to be part of the engagement processes with interested investors,” according to a statement signed by Mr. Barde.

This capital injection is so far the most outstanding progress in the effort of the Central Bank of Nigeria to get new core investors for the rescued banks.

Apart from Afribank, which announced the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently, none of the five other rescued banks have disclosed progress in its agreement with new core investors.

The other banks namely Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Finbank, Equitorial Trust Bank are yet to announce appreciable success.

Aggrieved shareholders of Bank PHB last week secured a court injunction against the planned sale of the bank to Habib Bank of Pakistan.

Source : 234next