Nigeria’s Diamond Bank says it has not received offers from investors

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Diamond Bank Plc, a Nigerian multinational financial service provider said no investors have come forward to inject cash into the company and that its board was reviewing all strategic options.

There have been speculations that the bank was in talks with a new investor to recapitalise, especially after four of its directors, including its Chairman Oluseyi Bickersteth had resigned. Diamond Bank, which has been managing its capital since 2016 to ensure it stays within the minimum regulatory ratio, said it would consider raising fresh funds after selling some assets to strengthen its balance sheet.

A statement released by the bank said “the Board of Diamond Bank, notes the media speculation relating to comments attributed to its former chairman, Mr Oluseyi Bickersteth, contrary to such media articles, the Board wish to clarify that the Company has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash”.

It was revealed that the bank was in active discussions to appoint new board directors and that it has the support of its major shareholders, including The Carlyle Group, to ensure successful operations.

In October 2018, Bickersteth told Reuters he was still on the board of the bank. He also said he favoured looking at all options for recapitalisation, including a rights issue or a takeover. The bank has maintained a 16 percent capital adequacy ratio, the minimum required by the central bank.

Nigerian businessman Pascal Dozie, who founded the bank in 1990, holds 14.2 percent with his family. The bank has a 61.9 percent free float while The Carlyle Group owns a 17.75 percent stake, which it bought for $147 million in 2014.

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