Heritage Bank Limited has emerged the preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank Limited, ending months of jostling for the acquisition of the commercial bank.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said on Thursday that Heritage emerged with an offer of over N56 billion, beating Fidelity Bank to the preferred bidder slot.
With its declaration as the preferred bidder, Heritage Bank is expected to pay about N11.2 billion, being 20 per cent of the reserve bid price latest by 48 hours after the execution of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA).
The SPA between AMCON and Heritage Bank is scheduled for formal signing on September 19, 2014. Normal operations is expected to commence nationwide in March 2015.
In line with the terms of the SPA, Heritage Bank would be expected to pay the balance of 80 per cent, or N44.8 billion, latest by October 13.
Failure to meet that payment deadline, the bid rule stipulates that Heritage Bank would forfeit its status to Fidelity Bank, which emerged the runner-up during the bid exercise.
Heritage Bank, which was granted a regional banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), came into existence following the liquidation of the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN).
On commencement of normal operations, the new management of Heritage Bank carried out the restructuring of its equity shareholding, with 80 per cent of the shares reserved for the core investor (Heritage Limited), nine per cent for the legacy bank, and 11 per cent of depositors’ funds.
With a focus on the provision of support to small and medium-scale enterprises, AMCON said the bank has committed to empowering that segment of the economy.
“The completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of the conditions precedent as stated in the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) that is to be executed between AMCON and HISL (the investment vehicle owned by Heritage Bank),” AMCON said in a statement by its Head, Corporate Communications, Kayode Lambo.
“In the event that HISL is unable to complete the transaction in line with the payment terms and other provisions of the SPA, the SPA entered into with HISL would be terminated and Fidelity Bank would become the preferred bidder.” Mr. Lambo explained.
According to AMCON, the process for the sale of Enterprise Bank featured a fierce contest by 24 local and international interested investors.
Mr. Lambo said the emergence of HISL and Fidelity Bank as preferred and reserve bidders respectively resulted from a rigorous and competitive bidding process coordinated by Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Vetiva Capital Management Limited (Financial Advisers) and G. Elias & Co. (Legal Advisers) on behalf of AMCON.