UPDATED: Union Bank Nigeria shares tumble after UK subsidiary 100% divest

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Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on Tuesday announced that it had entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest its 100percent equity stake in Union Bank UK Plc.

Union Bank in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the sale is aligned with the bank’s strategy to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.

“Following a competitive bid process, MBU BidCo Limited, an acquisition vehicle wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited, was selected as the preferred bidder,” the bank said in the statement.

The bank said this in a statement by its Company Secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi, posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website on Tuesday.

It said the sale aligned with Union Bank’s strategy to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.

It noted that the completion of the sale was subject to regulatory approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the planned divestment, Emeka Emuwa, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted in the statement as saying that it would enable the bank to focus on long-term opportunities.

“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 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.

“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,” Mr Emuwa said.

Also, Mohammed Iqbal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MBU Capital, said the development was a delight.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Union Bank UK, subject to regulatory approval.

“We see a huge opportunity to build on UBUK’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank which is focused on the needs of UK and international SMEs and entrepreneurs.

“Many of these customers are seeking a bank which 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,” Mr Iqbal stated.

Naija247news reports that Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as Financial Advisers, while White & Case LLP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as UK Legal Advisers and Nigeria Legal Advisers respectively to UBN.

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.

The completion of the sale is subject to regulatory approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Union Bank shares lost 4.84percent to close at N5.90 in Lagos trading on Tuesday

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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