First Bank to Acquire Distressed Bank


10 July 2010 – First Bank of Nigeria Plc has concluded plans to buy one of the eight banks that were bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year.


Chairman of the bank, Oba Otudeko, who disclosed this in Johannesburg,  South Africa, on Friday  also confirmed that the bank is also pursuing a secondary listing in London or Johannesburg stock exchanges.


The  CBN  is selling stakes in the 10 banks it rescued last year, when it  sacked top managers and injected N620 billion to ease a debt  crisis that threatened to cripple the financial system.


Also,  Fidelty Bank Plc. and Ecobank Nigeria Plc.   on Friday indicated that   they wanted to buy Afribank Plc


Standard Bank Group Ltd., FirstRand Ltd., and Old Mutual Plc, three of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, said in January they may be interested in buying stakes in Nigerian banks.


CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, last month expressed that  he expects three international lenders, a number of private-equity firms and local lenders to submit offers by mid-July.


“The interested parties are undertaking  detailed due diligence,” he said.


The CBN said last October that local banks can only buy a 20 per  cent  stake in rescued lenders.


“Our decision will be based on workings with the government. the  interests of our shareholders will be protected. If we acquire, we would acquire at value,”  Otudeko said.


Source: Tribune




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