20190321

Access Bank Swallows Diamond Bank As Court Rules

The Federal High Court (FHC) has sanctioned the approved scheme of merger between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, the final seal that effectively brings the merger of the two commercial banks into effect.

Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday suspended trading on the shares of Diamond Bank, which will be dissolved and subsequently delisted from the Exchange.

The court sanction, statutorily the final phase of a pre-merger process, which was filed at the NSE, affirmed all the key headlines of the transactions, which had earlier been approved by shareholders of the two banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under the terms of the merger, Diamond Bank will transfer all its assets, liabilities and undertakings to Access Bank and the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank shall be cancelled and Diamond Bank shall be dissolved without being wound up. In exchange, Diamond Bank’s shareholders shall receive a cash consideration of N1 per share and two ordinary shares of the enlarged Access Bank for every seven ordinary shares of Diamond Bank held as at the effective date.

Access Bank will be the post-merger entity while its Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe will continue to lead the post-merger management as chief executive. The business combination is expected to leapfrog post-merger Access Bank as Nigeria’s largest bank by total assets and one of Africa’s largest retail banks.

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