The Management of Access and Diamond banks have completed their much anticipated merger arrangement, NEWS FLAKES NG can authoritatively report.
The shareholders who voted in support of the merger pulled 97.89 percent or 14,298,393,943 units of shares, while those against stood at 2.11 percent or 307,122,041 units shares.
Mr Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, told the shareholders at the EGM that the merger with Diamond Bank enables Access Bank to acquire a bank with 17 million retail customers and the most viable mobile payment platform. He said that the expected revenue and cost synergies were material and promises significant long term value.
Wigwe explained further that the bank, after the merger, would attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners and as well bolster their reputation.
Said he: “After the merger, we would attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners. With the final merger of both banks and the status of the resulting entity as ‘the largest bank in Africa’s largest economy,’ this greatly bolsters the bank’s brand, opening doors of opportunity both in local and international markets.”
He declared that “Diamond bank merging with Access Bank also means, the former’s customers can enjoy access to the latter’s strong balance sheet, ubiquitous presence and solid operational structure.
“Diamond Bank has a formidable retail business with the largest retail customer base in Nigeria – over 17 million customers. Diamond Bank also has a track record of customer acquisition and low-cost liabilirties generation.
“The enlarged Access Bank will serve 27 million retail customers, almost double the number customers of any other bank in Nigeria and more than any other bank in Africa.”
Commending the two entities on the merger, Mr Adebayo Adeleke of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) eulogised the management of Access Bank for not shortchanging shareholders on the scheme of the merger.
His words: “Quite a lot of commendable things have been put in place and we hope the court will have no other reason not to agree on the merger.”
Adeleke said that the shareholders were in support of the plan that would give birth to one of the largest banks in Africa, while noting that their desire is to see the birth and growth of a new bank that would take challenges and take over the entire world.
On his own part, Alhaji Muktar Muktar of Trusted Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (TSAN), said: “we thank Access Bank for saving us from Diamond Bank by giving us a good deal which was above Diamond Bank price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”