By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) — Diamond Bank Plc has clarified that it is not in discussion with discussions with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.
The bank is reacting to an earlier report of plans by Access Bank Plc to acquire it.
Diamond Bank in a statement by its Media Relations Officer, Ezechinyere Anyanwu, denied that allegation saying “the attention of Diamond Bank Plc (“the Bank”) has been drawn to the rumor in the media stating that the Bank is purportedly in discussions with Access Bank Plc to acquire the Bank.”
“We wish to state categorically that the Bank is not in discussions with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.”
“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the Bank with regards to the rumor on the various media platforms,” the bank said
Earlier, Access Bank had also has debunked reports in some major daily newspaper on plans to acquire the Diamond Bank.
The Nation Newspaper had earlier today announced plans by Access Bank to add Diamond Bank’s assets to its list of portfolio by the first quarter of next year, noting that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition.
Recall that Bloomberg had reported plans by a major investor to inject funds into Diamond Bank on condition that the CEO, Uzoma Dozie, exits his position. The report attributed to the Chairman, Seyi Bickersteth, has since been denied by the bank.
According to the statement: “the Board wish to clarify that the company has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash. Further to the Company’s announcement of 26 October 2018, Diamond Bank and its Board of Directors continue to review all strategic options on a regular basis.
“Diamond Bank would also like to clarify it enjoys the support of its major shareholders, including The Carlyle Group and Kunoch Holdings who are, as ever, working in cooperation with the Board and management as appropriate to ensure the successful operation of its business in Africa’s most dynamic banking market.”
The bank recently announced a share sale and purchase agreement with a member of GFG Alliance for disposal of entire shareholding in its UK subsidiary, Diamond Bank (UK) Plc.
The bank revealed that the sale was in line with the bank’s objective of streamlining its operations and focus its resources on the immense opportunities in Nigeria’s retail banking market. It had earlier announced its divestment from the West Africa business, Diamond Bank S.A. for 61 million Euros to Manzi Finances S.A in November 2017.
H1 2018 financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2018, it recorded gross earnings of ₦98.5 billion compared to ₦97.9 billion reported for the period ended June 2017. This represents 1% increase year on year. The bank’s profit after tax for the half year ended 30th June 2018 was ₦1.80 billion, a 78% decrease compared to a profit of ₦8.02 billion recorded in H1 2017.
Diamond Bank Plc commenced operations as a private limited liability company in 1991. By 2005, its shares were listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).