First Bank not surprised at mergers & acquisition rumours —FBNHoldings

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited has said First Bank and its holding company are not surprised about rumours of  merger and acquisitions because recent events in the industry have thrown up such opportunities for banks.

It said this in view of the publication on its largest subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited on March 12, 2020, and captioned ‘First Bank Set to Merge with Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank.’

Specifically, the company in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which is  in line with Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Exchange 2015, stated that  there will always be speculation on FirstBank’s involvement on account of its size, liquidity, systemic importance and historic support in backstopping the industry.

Local media had last week reported that Nigeria will soon witness an¬other round of merger and acquisition in the banking sector as financial advisers are putting finishing touches to a merger arrangement be¬tween First Bank of Nigeria, Heritage Bank and Polaris Bank.

It quoted source privy to the merger as having said that both Polaris and Heritage banks have been looking for a worthy bank to do busi¬ness with as they have been told by the Cen¬tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN), after a round of stress test in banks last year to shape up or lose their licence.

The source also informed that these three entities are vigorously pursuing the merger and acquisition talks across all available means.

“It is therefore not unexpected that analysts will continue to share viewpoints about the evolution or potential consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry.

“Inorganic growth remains a strategic consideration for all financial institutions, but from FirstBank’s perspective, will only be considered when it is value accretive to shareholders and other key stakeholders.

“Similar to other Nigerian banks, FirstBank continues to scan Sub Saharan Africa in general for potential acquisitions,” it stated.

FBN Holdings Plc said it is mindful of its responsibilities as a Premium Board listed company and will make appropriate disclosures should it find such value

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