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Union Bank: Enough of new generation banks acquiring older ones ― Shareholders

Some shareholders on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd (NGX) said that new generation banks are setting the pace in the financial industry with Titan Trust Bank acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc.

They said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, while reacting to Titan Trust Bank’s announcement of 89.4 per cent stake in UBN.

Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, former National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria, described the development as good news to many stakeholders and the economy in general.

Olatokunbo, however, said that he was saddened by how the new and very young banks were showing the lead to the old generation ones in the banking industry.

He said new generation banks were absorbing the old ones in order to remain relevant in the industry.

“It should be a thing of great concern to patriotic Nigerians on the way things are going in our country if the old institutions could not give birth to stronger/competent younger institutions.

“But that the new ones are absorbing the old, then we need very serious rethink.

“The great questions we should be asking ourselves are that; where is our legacy; why must the new be the captain of the old ship; why are the old generation banks falling or failed to deliver.

“Really, am in a confused mood,  l cannot understand why our mightiest are falling, while l hope that something positive might come out of the acquisition, but enough of the might falling in our banking industry,” he said.

Olatokunbo recalled that Standard Trust Bank took control of United Bank for Africa the same way years ago.

“GTCO emerges from collections of old horses and became great. Access Bank followed the same pattern and making head way today, among others.

“The only one still standing, which is FirstBank, has been in the news recently, yet no one is sure of what is in stock for it; while Wema Bank is coming up with shares reconstruction,” he said.

The Chairman, Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mr Moses Igbrude, told NAN that the acquisition or buying of shares of companies was the major objective of establishing  capital market.

Igbrude said that he was not surprised with the recent transaction.

“There must be a willing seller and a willing buyer with the resources to do the transaction involved.

“So, Titan Trust Bank acquiring Union Bank is not a surprise to me because the core investor there has since indicated their interest to divest from the bank.

“My concern is that the bank should be well run and managed for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“As far as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulatory bodies play their roles in line with their various mandates; I have see no issue in the acquisition,” he added.

UBN on Thursday announced proposed divestment of majority shareholding interest in the bank to Titan Trust Bank Ltd.
The UBN Company Secretary,  Somuyiwa Sonubi, said in a statement posted on the NGX website titled:  “Proposed Divestment of Majority Shareholding Interest in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.”
The statement said that the board of UBN had received a notification from Union Global Partners Ltd (UGPL), the holder of majority shareholding in Union Bank) of the execution of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement.
It said that agreement was  between UGPL, certain other existing shareholders of Union Bank (as sellers) and Titan Trust Bank Ltd (as Purchaser) for the sale of an aggregate 89.39 per cent of the issued share capital of Union Bank held by the Sellers, to the Purchaser.
The statement said the completion of the transaction was subject to obtaining applicable regulatory approvals and the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent.

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