Nigerian lender said to be in-talks with other investors to raise capital


Nigeria’s Unity Bank said it is still in talks with other investors to raise capital after a supposedly bungled investment talks with Milost Global in recent weeks

The bank said in a strongly-worded statement that:

This is to notify shareholders of Unity Bank Plc and other stakeholders of the Bank that Unity Bank Plc has reviewed the various publications in some media touching the purported investment of $1,000,000,000.00 in Unity Bank Plc by Milost Global Inc. and wish to elaborate as follows.

Pursuant to various Regulators’ advice to the Bank in recent times on the need to shore up its capital base, the Bank with the mandate of its shareholders had engaged in series of discussions and engagement with prospective “value-plus investors”. All through these engagements, the Bank has been properly guided by the extant regulations concerning capital raising and equally made the process open to all prospective investors.

Milost Global Inc. is one of the prospective investors introduced to the Bank by a local entity called Mayo BV. It is not unusual that this introduction and expression of interests would involve some level of preliminary discussions and exchange of non-binding documentary communications between the intending parties towards establishing mutual foundation on which the transaction contemplated will be initiated.

The “Term Sheet” dated September 4, 2017 said to have been executed was a “proposal” submitted by Milost Global Inc. “for discussion purposes only and NOT a commitment” by the parties. No definitive documentation governing the proposed financing was executed.

It is in relation to the preliminary discussions that courtesy visits were exchanged between representatives of Milost and the Bank in 2017 and early 2018. The Bank’s Managing Director/CEO was in New York in October 2017 for other engagements and decided to visit Milost and verify the firm’s address as well as put a face to the officers of Milost that have been engaging the Bank via telephone and emails.

A brief meeting was held and discussions were around the dynamics of Milost proposal to Unity Bank Plc, and socialization of the policies and regulations around equity investment in Nigeria.

The Bank did not at any time suggest or agree to move its listing from the NSE to the USA as falsely reported in the media.

Few days ago, we reported how Unity Bank publicly called out Milost Group, dismissing reports that it was about to accept $1 billion from the American private equity firm for “60% stake” in the bank’s equity.

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