The management of Diamond Bank Plc has described as a rumour, news in the media stating that the bank is purportedly in discussions for Access Bank Plc to acquire the bank.
“We wish to state categorically that the Bank is not in discussions with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition,” it said in a statement released yesterday.
“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the Bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms, the statement added.
Prior to the news release, the nation’s social media was agog with the news that the Access Bank was in the process of adding Diamond Bank’s portfolio to its assets in the next few months.
According to a news story in The Nation newspaper, talks on the acquisition were on, quoting sources that said the fusion was set for the first quarter of next year.
It added that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition. What is left is the valuation of assets, with a view to determining the level of compensation and systems’ integration, the sources said, pleading not to be named because they are not allowed to talk to the media on the matter.
It alleged further that the impending acquisition was triggered by Diamond Bank directors who approached Access Bank for intervention in a bid to stave off possible regulatory intervention that could lead to the withdrawal of the lender’s operating license in the light of the bank’s depleting capital adequacy ratio on account of a huge Non Performing Loans (NPLs) portfolio put at over N150billion.
Recall that Diamond Bank in an earlier statement said, “Contrary to such media articles, the Board wish to clarify that the Company has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash. Further to the Company’s announcement of 26 October 2018, adding that Diamond Bank and its Board of Directors continue to review all strategic options on a regular basis.
“Diamond Bank would also like to clarify it enjoys the support of its major shareholders, including The Carlyle Group and Kunoch Holdings who are, as ever, working in cooperation with the Board and management as appropriate to ensure the successful operation of its business in Africa’s most dynamic banking market. “