Diamond Bank Plc has announced its decision to merge with Access Bank Plc.
This was revealed in a statement on Monday, December 17, 2018. According to Diamond Bank, the strategic decision will help it become the biggest retail bank on the African continent. The bank said:
“The Board of Diamond Bank Plc (“Diamond Bank”) today announces that following a strategic review leading to a competitive process, the Board has selected Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank”) as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of the two banks (“the merger”) that will create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.
“The Board of Diamond Bank believes that the merger is in the best interest of all stakeholders including, employees, customers, depositors and shareholders and has agreed to recommend the offer to Diamond Bank’s shareholders.
“Completion of the merger is subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.
“The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.
“Based on the agreement reached by the Boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of 2 New Access Bank ordinary shares for every 7 Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the Implementation Date”.
“The offer represents a premium of 260% to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer.
“Immediately following completion of the merger, Diamond Bank would be absorbed into Access Bank and it will cease to exist under Nigerian law.
“The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be canceled, upon the merger becoming effective”.
Speaking on the deal, Uzoma Dozie, Diamond Bank CEO said: “The proposed combination with Access Bank will create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions”.
“There is a clear strategic rationale for the proposed merger and strong complementarities between the two institutions.
“While Diamond Bank has pioneered Nigeria’s largest technology-led retail banking platform, Access Bank is one of Nigeria’s leading full-service commercial banks.
“Consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry is an inevitable, natural progression in a sector where the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks has been widening and scale has become critical; where technology will disrupt the traditional business model while enabling broader financial inclusion”.