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Monday , 10 December 2018

Diamond Bank in panic denial of acquisition talks

Though there are denials .. but we cannot discountenance that Diamond Bank Pc is in a serious trouble.

The lender, which has been managing its capital since 2016 to ensure it stays within the minimum regulatory ratio, said it would consider raising fresh funds after selling some assets to strengthen its balance sheet.

The directors of Diamond Bank may not admit it publicly but our investigations reveal that they are in favour of an M&A with Access Bank Plc rather than to be subjected to the ‘adversarial’ take-over move initiated by one of their foreign investors – The Carlyle Group , an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management and financial services corporation.

It is instructive to note that Diamond Bank does not have a fully constituted board at this moment in time (re: corporate governance at such a crucial time). The CBN is well aware of this and its acquiescence is signal enough for what is going on.

Days back,Diamond denied the claims by Mr Bickersteth.The former Chairman and three other directors on the board of Diamond Bank resigned from office, allegedly to allow fresh investors have their own representatives in the company’s highest decision making body.

In the statement released the bank, emphasised that it “has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash.

The bank asked The Carlyle Group for more funds before now, but Carlyle said NO and did in fact asked for their shares/position in Diamond Bank to be liquidated, apart from other demands and exercise of control over collaterals; which precipitated the reaction of the banks management to hit a panic button.

Access Bank Plc is aware of this information and others and knows its limits/limitations as regards the deal. The CBN equally does and so do the SEC/NSE on this development.

We will await further pronouncements. time will tell

Diamond Bank has been in the news lately concerning a possible injection of fresh funds into the bank to recapitalise it.The lender, for the past four quarters, has been recording drop in its profit with revenue also going down.

Now, there were reports that Access Bank was in advanced talk with Diamond Bank for a possible acquisition of the latter.

But both companies have denied this, emphasising that nothing of such was in the pipeline.

“The attention of Diamond Bank Plc (the Bank) has been drawn to the rumour in the media stating that the Bank is purportedly in discussions with 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.

“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the Bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms,” the Diamond Bank said in a statement today.

On its part, Access Bank said, “Our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report relating to Access Bank being engaged in merger and acquisition talks with Diamond Bank Plc

“We wish to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that the bank has not entered into any such discussions with Diamond Bank or any other institution.

“As a publicly quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognisant of its diclosure obligations in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligations in the most professional manner.

“Consequently, any statement regarding any such corporate action that is not issued by the bank should be disregarded.”

 

 

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