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First Bank May Acquire Lead Bank, Others

Posted by By Ayodele Aminu on 2004/08/22 | Views: 560 |

First Bank May Acquire Lead Bank, Others


There are strong indications that Lead Bank Plc may be the first to be acquired by First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the on-going consolidation talks expected to change the face of Nigerian banks.

There are strong indications that Lead Bank Plc may be the first to be acquired by First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the on-going consolidation talks expected to change the face of Nigerian banks.

Authoritative industry sources disclosed to THISDAY at the weekend about top-level talks that have commenced between the management of First Bank and Lead Bank over the merger bid.

It was gathered only last Thursday, Lead Bank General Manager, Mr. Bola Onadele, attended First Bank's Annual General Meeting held in Abuja, "to familiarize himself since he is going to be part of them."

"It is true Lead Bank and several others are discussing with us. We have rolled out our criteria for acquisition and Lead Bank appears to have met most of these criteria and likely to be the first bank we would acquire to increase our size," a senior First Bank official said.

"In fact, their (Lead Bank) General Manager attended our Annual General Meeting last Thursday in Abuja. That is all I can confirm to you," the official added.

Contacted, officials of Lead Bank declined commenting on the issue. Sources close to bank, however, confirmed the development, saying that the acquisition talks were at an advanced stage.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, Mr. Jacob Moyo Ajekigbe had announced a fortnight ago at the "facts behind the figures" presentation on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that the bank plans to raise its shareholders' fund to N100 billion in year 2008. This, he said would be achieved through mergers and acquisition.

"Even though, First bank has more than N25 billion, we will be partnering with other banks by way of acquisition or merger to take us to the destination we have set for ourselves by 2006 and 2008. In First Bank, we want to play the role of being our brother's keeper. If we have banks that cannot meet this target and they need assistance from us, we are prepared to accommodate them so that they can continue to grow in business."

"If they are banks that want to go into liquidation and they want to partner with First Bank, we are prepared to offer them a life line, provided they are physically fit. We want to acquire other banks. We have received applications from some banks. First Bank is pleading with the regulators to help maintain the system and to extend a lifeline to operators in the market who may need that advantage of the First Bank size," Ajekigbe had said.

At the 35th AGM last Thursday, Ajekigbe had also confirmed that bank had rolled its criteria for acquisition.

He said the bank plans to acquire some small banks, stressing that the board has approved talks with willing and interested banks.

Lead Bank is among the top three investment banks in the country. Its acquisition would no doubt strengthen First Bank's subsidiary (FBN Merchant Bank).

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown