AMCON announces Keystone Bank Acquisition by Private Firms

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Nahimat Adekoga

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has announced acquisition of Keystone Bank by joint preferred bidders, Sigma Golf Nigeria and Riverbank Investment Resources, who would continue managing the bank.

The new owners of Keystone Bank Limited, the last of the three nationalized banks according to the AMCON on Tuesday, were a consortium of local investors.

The cooperation noted in a statement that the new beneficiaries emerged preferred bidder after the acquisition of the bank’s shares, while the new development came after regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It, however, added that the completion of the transaction was now subject to the fulfillment of the conditions in the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) executed between the bad debt company and the consortium.

The corporation hinted that the process leading to sale of the financial institution started with interest shown by 18 parties cutting across local and international investors.

“The emergence of the Sigma Golf-Riverbank consortium resulted from a rigorous and competitive bidding process, which was coordinated for AMCON by Citibank Nigeria Limited, its affiliates and FBN Capital (Joint Financial Advisers) as well as Banwo & Ighodalo and Crosswrock Law as Joint Legal Advisers.”

It should be recalled that after the inquest carried out by the Mallam Lamido Sanusi-led CBN in 2008, three of the 24 national banks that scaled the 2005 banking consolidation – Afribank Plc, Spring Bank Plc and Bank PHB failed a stress test.

These were, subsequently, nationalised by a special purpose vehicle that emerged in AMCON, imposing a new administration and rebranding them as Mainstreet Bank Limited, Enterprise Bank Limited and Keystone Bank Limited.

The Keystone Bank was incorporated by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on August 3, 2011, after the takeover, while AMCON eventually capitalised it before appointing a board and an executive management team to lead the financial institution.

In 2016, the Head of Corporate Communications, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, disclosed that the Keystone Bank had a staff strength of 1,753 employees, network of 154 branches, nine cash centres and 315 Automated Teller Machines.

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