In its bid to align with the strategy to geographically streamline its business operations and focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria, the board of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, on Tuesday said it has entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest its entire equity stake in its UK subsidiary.
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by Somuyiwa Sonubi, its company secretary, MBU BidCo Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited, was selected as the preferred bidder, following a competitive bid process.
Completion of the process, the bank said, is subject to approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, commenting on the planned divestment, Emeka Emuwa, chief executive of the bank said: “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.”
The divestment, the statement continued, allows the bank channel its focus and capital towards fully harnessing the opportunities.
“Through the sale, we are better positioned to deliver greater value to the organization 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,” Emuwa added.
Mohammed Iqbal, founder, and CEO of MBU Capital expressed delight at the acquisition, especially against the backdrop of the huge opportunity to build on Union Bank UK’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank focused on the needs of UK and international SMEs and entrepreneurs.
“Many of these customers are seeking a bank that 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.”
Continuing, the statement by Sonubi explained that Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as Financial Advisers while White & Case LLP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as UK and Nigeria legal advisers respectively to Union Bank.
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.