Access Bank pushes to acquire Diamond Bank

Access Bank

Heads of Access Bank and Diamond Bank will on Monday meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) leadership on a possible acquisition deal.

Diamond Bank is currently troubled after one of its foreign investors pulled out.

A senior official of Access Bank who spoke to The Punch on Sunday on condition of anonymity said that the banks were still in acquisition talks, which had not yet been finalised.

“I can confirm that there is an acquisition process in progress but we need to wait for the outcome if it is eventually concluded,” he stated.

CBN spokesperson Isaac Okorafor said when contacted that the CBN was “aware that there have been meetings but we are yet to receive any formal communication from the parties in that respect.”

Diamond bank recently secured a national license and closed its international operations.

The new deal would also have to be approved by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other regulators.

A report by The Cable said that Diamond bank recorded its worst month on record in November with share plunging to 0.61k per unit on November 30, 2018.

Diamond Bank Q3 2018 report had shown that the bank was under some financial stress with profit after tax falling from N3.9bn in 2017to N1.6bn.

This impacted the bank’s earnings per share which also dropped sharply from N17 in 2017 to N7 in 2018.

Access Bank bought the then Intercontinental Bank after the 2009-2010 intervention in the latter by the CBN then led by Lamido Sanusi, the current Emir of Kano.