AMCON announces preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Thursday announced Heritage Bank-sponsored HBSL Investment Services Limited as the preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank.

This came over a year after AMCON began the sale process of the nationalised bank.

Enterprise Bank is one of the three nationalised banks created after the 2009 banking crisis, which saw the nationalisation of Afribank Plc, Bank PHB Plc and Spring Bank Plc.

The three bridge banks created from the failed banks are Enterprise Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank.

A statement by AMCON confirming the result said Heritage Bank emerged the preferred bidder, while Fidelity Bank was the reserve bidder.

The statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Lambo, said, “The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is pleased to announce HBCL Investment Services Limited as preferred bidder and Fidelity Bank Plc as reserve bidder for the acquisition of the entire issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of Enterprise Bank Limited. This follows the receipt of the approval of the Board of Directors of AMCON. HISL is sponsored by Heritage Banking Company Limited.”

Lambo said in the event that Heritage Bank was unable to meet the share purchase agreement, Fidelity Bank would become the preferred bidder.

He said, “The completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of the conditions precedent as stated in the Share Purchase Agreement that is to be executed between AMCON and HISL. In the event that HISL is unable to complete the transaction in line with the payment terms and other provisions of the SPA, the SPA entered into with HISL would be terminated and Fidelity Bank would become the preferred bidder.

The bidding process, which was coordinated for AMCON by Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Vetiva Capital Management Limited (financial advisers) and G. Elias & Co. (legal advisers).

AMCON is due to announce the preferred bidder for Mainstreet Bank on, or before October 31.

The Managing Director, AMCON, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, said Keystone Bank sale would commence later.

Enterprise Bank commenced operation in August, 2011 as a full-service commercial bank with a national banking licence. The bank operates via a sizeable distribution network of over 160 branches spread across major markets and commercial centres in Nigeria and with over 177 Automated Teller Machines, 57 cash centres and 2,000 Pint of Sale terminals.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had on August 5, 2011 revoked the operating licences of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB, which it said did not show enough capacity and ability for recapitalisation.

In their place, the CBN, through the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, established three bridge banks and transferred the assets and liabilities of the affected banks to the bridge banks.

Mainstreet Bank took over the assets and liabilities of Afribank; Keystone Bank assumed the assets and liabilities of Bank PHB; while Enterprise Bank took over Spring Bank.

Consequently, AMCON acquired from the NDIC the three bridge banks and injected N679bn into them to meet the minimum capital base of N25bn and the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent.

Mainstreet Bank received N285bn; Keystone Bank, N283bn; and Enterprise Bank, N111bn.

Heritage Banking Company Limited, often referred to as Heritage Bank, is a commercial bank in Nigeria. It is one of the commercial banks licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the country’s banking regulator.

In 2012, the core investor, IEI Plc, through IEI Investments Limited, acquired the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Having fulfilled all required criteria, the bank returned 100 per cent of existing SGBN account holders’ money to their owners. HBCL is a large financial services provider in Nigeria. Currently licensed as a regional bank, it offers banking and financial services in the country, excluding the South, Southeast and the North.

As of March 2013, the total asset valuation of the bank was estimated at about $192m (N31bn).

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