Sunday, January 6, 2019

Merger Benefits: Access bank/Diamond Bank Customers Now Have Access To The Largest ATM Network

Merger Benefits
Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc announced back in December 2018, that they have finally agreed to merge after several weeks of speculation. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed and approved by the Central Bank of Ngeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which moved Access Bank, the principal partner from number four to number two in the nation’s banking hierarchy.

The board of Diamond Bank believes the merger is in the best interest of stakeholders including employees, customers, depositors and shareholders who have not received shares in over 4 years.

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.

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.

Diamond Bank is one of Nigeria’s largest technology-led retail banking platform while Access Bank is the leading full-service commercial bank in Nigeria. 

"The combination with Access bank will create one of Africa's leading financial institutions and provide an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses and will create a financial institution with the scale, strength and expertise to capitalize on the significant opportunities in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly", Uzoma Dozie, the CEO of Diamond Bank said.

Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank, said: "Access Bank has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy. Access Bank and Diamond Bank have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank, with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking, could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion. Access Bank has a strong financial profile with attractive returns and a robust capital position with 20.1% CAR as at 30 September 2018. We believe that this platform, together with the two banks’ shared focus on innovation, financial inclusion, and sustainability, can bring benefits to Access Bank and Diamond Bank customers, staff and shareholders."

In a message released on Tuesday 1st January, 2019, both banks announced that customers now have access to over 3,100 ATMs within the country free of charge. 

What this means is that customers of both banks can withdraw from either ATMs without paying the N65 customary charge per transaction.

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