Union Bank Nigeria Plc has filed a notice at the Nigerian Stock Exchange indicating that it has entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest 100 per cent of its equity stake in its UK subsidiary, Union Bank UK Plc.
It said the intended sale was to allow it to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.
According to the notice, MBU BidCo Limited, an acquisition facility wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited, was selected as the preferred bidder after a highly competitive bid process.
Union Bank said the completion of the sale was subject to regulatory approvals from relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
The Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, explained that the bank had identified certain opportunities in Nigeria and that the Nigerian market presented robust and long-term opportunities for the banking institution, hence the planned divestment.
He 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.
“This divestment allows us to 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.”
Emuwa stated that the UK subsidiary was quite valuable, adding that he would entrust it to a high-quality financial institution that would spur it to greater heights.
According to him, the terms of the sale of the UK subsidiary deliver substantial value to shareholders while entrusting its customers and trading partners to a high-quality financial services institution that will work with existing management to deliver a stronger and more profitable entity.
The founder/Chief Executive Officer, MBU Capital, Mohammed Iqbal, said he was overjoyed at the latest acquisition.
He said, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Union Bank UK, subject to regulatory approval. We see a huge opportunity to build on the bank’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank that is 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 to continue to service the needs of its clients. We also look forward to sustaining and deepening relationships with the bank’s existing trading partners.”
Union Bank said Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as its financial advisers while White & Case LLP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as the UK legal advisers and Nigeria legal advisers respectively.
It added that Syndeo Capital Limited acted as advisers to MBU Capital with Akin Gump LLP as legal advisers and PricewaterhouseCoopers as financial and tax advisers.