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By NBF News
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LAGOS - Shareholders of Ecobank Nigeria Plc and Oceanic Bank International Limited, yesterday, approved their proposed merger, just as the merged banks will commence operation as one bank in the new year.

Under the merger scheme, the shareholders approved that all the assets, liabilities and undertakings of Oceanic Bank, including real property and intellectual property rights, be transferred to Ecobank Nigeria.

It was also approved that the 1,600,000,000 issued ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Oceanic Bank be dissolved and that the bank be dissolved without being wound up.

In consideration for the transfer of all assets, liabilities and undertakings of Oceanic Bank to Ecobank, the shareholders of Oceanic Bank will receive 16,111,111,111 billion new shares in Ecobank Nigeria, credited as fully paid-up; and N2,600,000,000 to be credited to Oceanic Bank shareholders as deposit for shares in Ecobank Nigeria issued to Oceanic Bank shareholders as equity at N2.34  per Ecobank Nigeria share at a date to be mutually agreed by the shareholder of both banks.

Speaking at the Extra Ordinary Meeting (EGM), Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Olor'ogun Sunny Folorunso Kuku, said: 'The integration of Oceanic and Ecobank Nigeria creates a much stronger financial entity, better able to compete effectively in the domestic market place.

It also combines Oceanic Bank's strengths in the retail, commercial, public and microfinance sectors with Ecobank Nigeria's corporate banking expertise and the Ecobank Group's pan-African footprint. The enlarged group, to be known as Ecobank Nigeria, will rank as one of the top five banking groups in the country.'