Access, Diamond Bank Deny Alleged Merger and Acquisition Talks

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Nigerian lenders, Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc. have denied talks over an acquisition deal.

The two commercial banks in a statement posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday, November 12, 2018, debunked plans by Access Bank to add Diamond Bank’s assets to its portfolio by the first quarter of next year.

The Nation had earlier quoted sources that the two commercial banks are in talks over a complete acquisition deal. The report also noted that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition.

Uzoma Uja, Diamond Bank's Secretary/Legal Adviser, said the Bank is not in discussions with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

“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.”

In the same vein, Access Bank also said it was not being engaged in merger and acquisition talks with Diamond Bank.
Sunday Ekwochi, the Company Secretary, said, “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 disclosure 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.”

The reports on Diamond Bank approaching investors came nearly a month after Oluseyi Bickersteth, the bank's chairman and three non-executive directors of Diamond Bank Plc resigned their positions.
This, analysts and banking sources, said is to pave way for new capital injections for the new investors to have more feel about the banking operations.

Diamond Bank had denied capital injection talks with new any investors at the moment. The bank said it will notify the authorities when it is taking in any capital injection.