GT Bank Plans Acquisition of W’African Bank


By Obinna Chima with Agency Report, 09.28.2010 


Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GT Bank) has revealed its plans to acquire a Francophone West African banks to increase it footprint in the region.The proposed acquisition came hours after United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) said it plans to issue bonds and equities to boost its capital.Although Reuters, which hinted about GTbank’s  acquisition yesterday was not specific on the identity of the bank, it said GT Bank’s target bank is an English -speaking bank.


“We are currently involved in the English-speaking West Africa countries. We are in discussions with a banking franchise and if we find the right price, we may consider one transaction that enables us to have a presence within all the Francophone countries. But that’s not going to happen this year,” Reuters quoted the Head of Corporate Finance, GT Bank, Bolaji Lawal, to have said.Analysts said the proposed acquisition would help strengthen the bank, following its plan to divest from its non-banking subsidiaries.


GTBank recently said that its Board of Directors had recommended the divestment of the bank’s shareholding interest in its non-banking subsidiaries for the consideration and approval of its shareholders. It had explained that the proposed divestment would lead to the sale of the bank’s equity stake in its insurance subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, which  it said is in line with the bank’s plans to ensure compliance with the new licensing regime released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that UBA has concluded plans to sell shares and bonds worth N200 billion ($1.3 billion) to boost its capital and fund an upgrade of its computer systems. “A bond sale worth N100 billion, the first of N400 billion programme over the next five years, will close tomorrow.The bank also plans to raiseN100 billion through a share sale. UBA has expanded into African countries, including Tanzania, where regulators are demanding lenders boost their capital. 


“Tanzania has asked the banks to raise their capital over the next three years. We are having such requests frequently,” Bloomberg quoted the Financial Controller, UBA, Ugochukwu Nwagbodoh, to have said yesterday.UBA is also exploring opportunities to expand into China and the United Arab Emirates, he said.







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