Access Bank and Diamond Bank merger to be concluded in April

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Nigerian multinational commercial bank, Access Bank Plc, said its partnership with Diamond Bank, which aims to produce Africa’s largest retail lender by customers will be concluded in April. The business deal was set to close in June but will be completed in the second quarter.

The Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe said during an investor call that the bank has cancelled a planned 75 billion naira ($207 million) rights issue, as it’s no longer needed to meet the central bank’s minimum capital thresholds.

In 2018, Access Bank agreed to buy Diamond Bank in a deal worth $200 million. According to Bloomberg calculations, when the deal is concluded, Access Bank’s assets could swell to about $17 billion from $12.5 billion. Currently, Zenith Bank Plc is the largest lender in Nigeria with $15.4 billion worth of assets.

According to Wigwe, Access Bank estimates 150 billion naira in cost synergies will be created over the next three years. On the cost side, synergies would amount to 88.1 billion naira, while on the revenue side synergies would amount to 62.2 billion naira.

Wigwe also stated that the bank would shut down 57 branches over the next two years. There would however be no staff redundancy, as affected staff would be retrained.

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