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New Merger Group, First Inland Bank, Emerges

Posted by By Ayodele Aminu on 2005/08/17 | Views: 5235 |

New Merger Group, First Inland Bank, Emerges


First Atlantic Bank Plc and Inland Bank Plc have fused together into another banking group to be known as First Inland Bank Plc. This development confirmed THISDAY’s exclusive report of yesterday to the effect that the duo were in serious merger talks.

* First Consolidated Bank may realign


First Atlantic Bank Plc and Inland Bank Plc have fused together into another banking group to be known as First Inland Bank Plc. This development confirmed THISDAY’s exclusive report of yesterday to the effect that the duo were in serious merger talks.

Indications also emerged yesterday that the First Consolidated Bank Group (FCB) comprising Hallmark Bank Plc and Allstates Trust Bank may realign.
THISDAY checks reveal that First Atlantic Bank and Inland Bank have already signed a pre-merger agreement, commenced due diligence and appointed a financial adviser to fast-track their merger process.

Further checks by THISDAY indicate that the Chairman of First Atlantic Bank, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor may have been tipped to chair the new entity, while the Managing Director of Inland Bank, Alhaji Lamba Zannah may also have been tipped for the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer position.

The raison d'ętre for the merger according to information, is the potential of the new entity to become a truly national bank. First Atlantic Bank is said to have more presence in the South and the East, while Inland Bank is very strong in the North.

The combined shareholders’ funds of the two institutions, which recently shopped for funds in the market after their capital has been verified by the regulatory authorities, is expected to be over N20 billion.

First Atlantic Bank, which initially had about N4 billion in shareholders’ funds, it would be recalled, had last February shopped for N8 billion by rolling out to the investing public a total 3 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N2.50 per share.

Inland Bank on the other hand, had set out to raise N23 billion by rolling out to the investing public a total of 16,000,000,000 ordinary shares of 50k at 1.50k per share.

THISDAY had exclusively reported yesterday the breakup in the Astrabank Group of which First Atlantic is a member bank.

Astrabank is a group of four banks namely Assurance Bank Limited, First Atlantic Bank, Guardian Express Bank Plc and Manny Bank Plc. They signed a Memorandum of Understan-ding (MoU) October last year to merge their various businesses into a mega financial institution.

According to information, Guardian Express Bank is also said to be in serious talks with the Platinum Bank/ FSB International Plc Group, while Manny Bank may go with the Union Bank Group. Assurance Bank on the other hand, is rumoured to be in serious talks with one of the big banks.

In a related development, Hallmark Bank may have opted out of the FCB Group as the bank is said to have almost finalised its bid to acquire ACB International Bank Plc and one other bank.

Allstates Trust Bank, the only bank left in the FCB group after the three others (Gulf Bank of Nigeria Plc, Lion Bank and Universal Trust Bank Plc) had left to join other merger groups however, maintained that there is no crack in the group.

“ I am not aware. There is nothing that suggests anything like that (split within the group). We are still very much together,” said Head, Media Relations, Allstates Trust Bank, Kazim Olatunde yesterday.

Sources however, confirmed in Lagos yesterday that Hallmark Bank, ACB and another bank have individually given their consent to a proposal to work together, to ensure that the N25 billion minimum capitalization for banks is met, ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria deadline.

Already, the three institutions, our sources further disclosed, have already finalized arrangements to sign and execute necessary legal agreements to consummate the merger.

Although the name of the emerging bank is yet to be made public, there are strong indications that an acceptable option may be unveiled soon.

According to information, the post consolidation network of the emerging bank is estimated at over 200 branches if the currently moribund outlets of ACB International Bank across the country are re- activated.

Meanwhile, in an effort to beat the December 31, 2005 recapitalization deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Hallmark Bank has concluded arrangements to raise additional equity from the capital market.

The proceeds of the respective offers will be used to ensure that the N25 billion, minimum capitalization is achieved before December 31, 2005.

Another consolidation rearrangement that was recorded couple of weeks ago was that of the Sterling Bank group comprising Prudent Bank Plc, EIB International Bank Plc, NBM Bank, Trust Bank of Africa Limited and Magnum Trust Bank Plc, which had earlier split into two groups a to chart what they described as “a new direction.”

While Magnum Trust Bank, NBM Bank and Trust Bank are still part of the Sterling Group, Prudent Bank and EIB International Bank have opted out to form another group known as Skye Bank.


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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.