Access Bank shareholders approve merger with Diamond Bank, commend mgt

SHAREHOLDERS of Access Bank PLC have given the board and the bank the approval to pursue the scheme of the merger between the company and Diamond Bank PLC.

At a Court Ordered Meeting (COM) held on Tuesday, 98 per cent of the shareholders gave their consent that all assets, liabilities and undertaking including real property and intellectual property rights of Diamond Bank would be transferred to Access Bank, thus dissolving Diamond Bank without being wound up.

Also under the Scheme of Merger, Diamond Bank shareholders are to be paid One Naira per each issued and paid-up ordinary shares held as at the time of the Court-Ordered Meeting.

Shareholders also commended the decision of the management team to give Diamond Bank shareholders a soft landing with the offering of One Naira per ordinary share, while expressing their optimism of a glorious future for the bank.

In his comment, Sunny Nwosu of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, expressed confidence and trust that the merger will be a successful one while advocating for a special dividend to pushing the effect of the dilution for existing shareholders of Access Bank.

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Speaking on the benefits of the merger, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank PLC, noted that the combination of Diamond Bank’s strong retail customer franchise and Access Bank’s proven management and capital management expertise would create an new bank with strong value creation potential, thus accelerating the attainment of Access Bank’s objective of becoming a leading bankbin Nigeria and Africa’s Gateway to the world as the bank would become the largest retail bank in Africa.

He added that both banks’ objectives complement each other and a merger with Diamond Bank would be accretive to Access Bank, given Diamond Bank’s leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking. “This in turn will accelerate Access Bank’s strategy as a significant full service bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial service champion.”

It will be recalled that the bankshad disclosed that they had been granted approval in principle on the merger plans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), adding that it is awaiting the final approval which would be granted by the shareholders to complete the merger process.

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