Union Bank of Nigeria to divest from UK subsidiary

Union Bank
A Union Bank branch used to illustrate the story

Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest 100 per cent of its equity stake in Union Bank UK Plc (UBUK).

The bank said this in a statement by its Company Secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi, posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website on Tuesday.

It said the sale aligned with Union Bank’s strategy to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.

“Following a competitive bid process, MBU BidCo Limited (“MBU”), an acquisition vehicle wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited (“MBU Capital”), was selected as the preferred bidder,” the statement said.

It noted that the completion of the sale was subject to regulatory approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the planned divestment, Emeka Emuwa, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted in the statement as saying that it would enable the bank to focus on long-term opportunities.

“As the banking landscape shifts towards digital and agency banking to drive financial inclusion, the Nigerian market presents robust long-term opportunities for Union Bank.

‘This divestment allows us channel our focus and capital towards mining those opportunities fully.

“Through the sale, we are better positioned to deliver greater value to the organisation and its stakeholders as well as continue to build the future of banking in Nigeria.

“The terms of the sale of UBUK delivers substantial value to our shareholders, while also entrusting its customers and trading partners to a high-quality financial services institution who will work with existing management to deliver a stronger and more profitable entity,” Mr Emuwa said.

Also, Mohammed Iqbal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MBU Capital, said the development was a delight.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Union Bank UK, subject to regulatory approval.

“We see a huge opportunity to build on UBUK’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank which is focused on the needs of UK and international SMEs and entrepreneurs.

“Many of these customers are seeking a bank which truly understands the needs of entrepreneurial, fast-growing businesses.

“We believe that our acquisition and vision for UBUK offers the potential for significant growth for the bank.

“We look forward to working with our new colleagues at UBUK to continue to service the needs of its clients.

“We also look forward to sustaining and deepening relationships with UBUK’s existing trading partners,” Mr Iqbal stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as Financial Advisers, while White & Case LLP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as UK Legal Advisers and Nigeria Legal Advisers respectively to UBN.

Syndeo Capital Limited (led by Mandeep Ahluwalia) acted as Advisers to MBU Capital with Akin Gump LLP as Legal Advisers and PwC as Financial and Tax Advisers.

(NAN)


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