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AMCON: 25 foreign, local investors express interest to buy Mainstreet Bank

By The Citizen
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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) disclosed on Wednesday that 25 foreign and local banks have indicated interest to buy Mainstreet Bank Limited barely two weeks after the nationalised bank was officially put up for sale.

A statement by the Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON, Mr. Kayode Lambo, said that the 25 banks, which had submitted EOIs to buy Mainstreet Bank, would be required to submit some documents after which they would be allowed to examine the bank.

The statement read in part, 'The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria hereby announces the successful completion of the submission of Expressions of Interest phase of the divestment of its shareholding in Mainstreet Bank.

'In confirmation of the earlier comment made by the corporation that the time frame given was adequate for serious interested parties to submit all requested documents, a total of 25 EOIs were received.

'These spanned a diverse group of interest, which included local and foreign banks, and local and foreign investment groups. It is worthy of note that the number of requests received for this advertisement exceeded expectations and the corporation is impressed with the profiles of the entities.'

However, Lambo noted that the bidding process for the bank had yet to begin, adding that bidding would start after the prospective investors had performed due diligence on Mainstreet.

He said, 'Please note that the bidding process has not yet begun. All successful EOI applicants will now be required to submit further information in order to enable the advisers to perform a due diligence on them.

'At the completion of that exercise, the successful applicants will proceed to the next stage, which will be the due diligence phase. That phase is expected to take four to six weeks after which they will be required to submit their bids.

'This process has included a thorough search for reputable advisers who have been engaged. AMCON remains committed to fairness and transparency in the entire process as it looks forward to the next steps in the divestment of its shareholding in Mainstreet Bank.'

Some industry stakeholders had on Tuesday threatened to place a caveat on the bridge banks if AMCON failed to extend the nine-day timeline given to prospective investors to submit their EOIs, arguing that they needed more time to submit their bids.

AMCON, however, stressed that the bidding process had yet to start, noting that prospective investors were only being asked to identify themselves.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had on August 5, 2011, revoked the operating licences of Afribank, Spring Bank, and Bank PHB, which it said did not show enough capacity and ability for recapitalisation.

In their place, the CBN, through the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, established bridge banks and transferred the assets and liabilities of the three affected banks to the bridge banks.

Under the arrangement, MainStreet Bank took over the assets and liabilities of Afribank; Keystone Bank assumed the assets and liabilities of Bank PHB, while Enterprise Bank took over those of Spring Bank.

Consequently, AMCON acquired from the NDIC the three bridge banks and injected N679bn into them to meet the minimum capital base of N25bn and the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent.

MainStreet Bank received N285bn; Keystone Bank, N283bn; and Enterprise Bank, N111bn.

Mainstreet and Enterprise banks, two of the three bridge banks owned by AMCON, would be sold on or before September 15 this year, the Managing Director, AMCON, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, had stated last week.

He added that Keystone Bank Limited, the third bridge bank, would be sold some time next year.

AMCON had said the Federal Government's plan was to sell the banks to private investors. â€' Punch.