Heritage concludes Enterprise Bank acquisition with Afreximbank’s $272m facility
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IMAGE: Ifie Sekibo, managing director of Heritage Bank, »
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Heritage Bank on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt, signed an agreement formalising Afreximbank’s $272 million facility in support of Heritage Bank’s acquisition of Enterprise Bank from the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
According to Obi Emekekwue of Afreximbank’s external communication, the pan-African trade bank served as the sole lead arranger for the $272 million, representing 80 percent of Heritage Bank’s $344 million winning bid for Enterprise Bank.
Heritage Bank had paid 20 percent of the bid, amounting to $72 million, upon winning the competitive bid, and was then required to raise the remaining amount within a set period to conclude the acquisition.
It would be recalled that following solvency challenges due to under-capitalisation, AMCON had intervened and taken over troubled banks, including Enterprise Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank, injecting fresh capital to stabilise them before moving to divest these so-called “bridge banks” through competitive bids.
In a statement at Wednesday’s signing ceremony, Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra said that the transaction was one that would bring value to the Nigerian government and to the country’s banking sector.
“It will also advance Afreximbank’s strategic goal of empowering Africans to participate in the continents’ strategic sectors and provide the bank with a platform for expanding the financing of SMEs in supply chains in Nigeria,” said Ekra.
He added that “this deal, by all measures, will be one of the largest mergers and acquisitions deals in Nigeria, helping the Nigerian government stabilise its financial sector and create a better path for other African nations to follow while empowering entrepreneurial Africans to realise their ambitions of owning and managing an important financial institution.”
Also speaking, Ifie Sekibo, managing director of Heritage Bank, said that the conclusion of the acquisition gives Heritage Bank greatly enhanced reach to connect to a widely dispersed volume of customers in Nigeria.
Sekibo added that “it will strengthen our product distribution through varied and increased points of presence and strengthen our market assertiveness and recognition.”
He said that Heritage Bank looked forward to opportunities to work with Afreximbank in some other products, particularly in the areas of factoring and the programme for ethnic food financing, which, he noted, could have a very positive impact on the agriculture and SME space.
The completion of the transaction, which was led by Afreximbank’s corporate finance and advisory services unit, with Pan African Capital acting as Heritage Bank’s advisers, makes Enterprise Bank the first of the “bridge banks” to be successfully divested under Nigeria’s banking reform programme.
Article Credit: Businessdayonline