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AMCON seeks buyers for Enterprise Bank

By on September 4, 2013

The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria has formally invited interested buyers to express interests in acquiring its 100 per cent stake in Enterprise Bank Limited, one of the three banks nationalised by the Federal Government in 2011.

Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB were nationalised in 2011. AMCON then recapitalised them and changed their names to Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank, respectively.

AMCON holds the non-performing assets of troubled banks.

In a public notice on Monday, AMCON said prospective buyers of Enterprise Bank would be required to submit their bids by September 20 and show evidence of financing capacity.

The corporation had in July appointed Citigroup and Africa-focused investment bank, Vetiva Capital, to manage its divestment from Enterprise Bank.

According to the public notice, upon the receipt and evaluation of the expression of interest, a shortlist of buyers will be prepared and they will proceed to the first phase of the transaction.

Based on its 2012 audited accounts, Enterprise Bank has seven subsidiaries and 150 branches, with total assets of N263.5bn ($1.6bn) and total equity of N31.9bn ($195.3m), AMCON said in the notice.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had rescued nine lenders in a $4bn bailout in 2009, after reckless lending and lax governance left them undercapitalised.

The CBN told them to find new investors before a deadline or face nationalisation. Only six of them met the deadline.

A few months ago, AMCON announced the beginning of the final process for the sale of the three bridge banks and indicated that it would start with the sale of Enterprise Bank, followed by that of Keystone Bank and Mainstreet Bank.

The corporation expects to complete the sale of the three banks by September 2014 and plans to sell 100 per cent stake in each.

According to the Managing Director, AMCON, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, the advisers will solicit expressions of interest from prospective investors, adding that he expected strong interest in the three banks from local and foreign institutions.

The Chief Executive Officer, FirstRand, Sizwe Nxasana, told Reuters recently that the South African lender was keen on buying either Keystone or Mainstreet.

The Managing Director, Skye Bank Plc,   Mr. Kehinde Durosimi-Etti, had told shareholders at a recent meeting that the lender would bid for one of the three banks, depending on valuations.