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21.10.2011 Business & Finance

Access Bank Acquires Majority Stake In Intercontinental

By Samuel Doe Ablordeppey - Daily Graphic
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Access Bank Plc of Nigeria has completed boardroom formalities leading to the acquisition of a majority of interest in compatriot bank, Intercontinental Bank Plc, which now becomes a subsidiary of Access Bank Plc.

Access Bank entered the Ghanaian market and started operations in June 2009 with GH¢80 million, becoming one of the most capitalised banks in the country when the Bank of Ghana only required universal banks to maintain a minimum capital of GH¢60 million.

Intercontinental entered much earlier in October of 2006 after acquiring the operations of Citi Savings and Loans Company.

The recapitalisation of the combined business of the two banks resulted in Access Bank controlling up to 75 per cent stake in its latest subsidiary, Intercontinental Bank, effective October 14, but the deal has to receive approval from shareholders of both banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria, its Securities and Exchange Commission as well as a sanction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

A release jointly issued by the two banks and made available to a section of the media in Ghana, said the combined effect of the restoration of Net Asset Value to zero by AMCON and 50-billion-naira capital injection by Access Bank Plc was that Intercontinental Bank now operated as a well capitalised bank, with shareholders funds of 50 billion naira and Capital Adequacy Ratio of 24 per cent, well above the 10 per cent regulatory threshold.

The release said with the completion of a change in the control processes for Intercontinental’s banking operations within Nigeria, the team was working on the regulatory front to conclude the takeover processes for its international banking subsidiaries.

According to the release, the banks were working towards formally combining the two entities within the second quarter of next year, saying in the interim, Intercontinental Bank will operate as a high performing subsidiary of Access Bank, fulfilling all obligations to customers and other stakeholders.

Access bank took over both the assets and liabilities of Intercontinental Bank Plc, adding that during the finalisation board meeting and held on October 14, 2011, the retiring Board of Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc reconstituted its membership upon the request of Access Bank, which had Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as the Chairman.

The statement expressed appreciation to shareholders, customers, employees, regulators, other government institutions and the public for their support throughout the recapitalisation process which started in December 2009.