The board of Diamond Bank Plc on Monday finally announced its merger with Access Bank Plc expected to be completed in first half of 2019.
Both banks recently denied media reports of any merger.
Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said in Lagos the board had selected Access Bank as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of both banks.
Dozie said the potential merger of the two banks would create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.
He added that the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019 was in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Dozie said the completion of the merger was subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.
He said: “The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.
“Based on the agreement reached by the boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising N1 per share in cash.”
Dozie also said the transaction would include the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.
“The offer represents a premium of 260 per cent to the closing market price of 87k per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer,” Dozie said.
He said the bank’s shares would be absorbed into Access Bank at the completion of the merger and Diamond Bank would cease to exist under Nigerian law.
“The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled, upon the merger becoming effective,” he added.
Dozie said the proposed combination with Access Bank would create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.
“The board of Diamond Bank believes that the proposed combination of the two operations provides an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses,” he said.
Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, said: “Access Bank has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy.
“Access Bank and Diamond Bank have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking.
“This could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”
Heritage Bank Gets CIBN Nod On Established Academy, Trains 300 New Intakes
In line with its commitment to ensure greater efficiency and boost its workforce, Heritage Bank Plc has received a nod from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for its establishment of a full-fledged learning and development institute, with the training of 300 new employees.
The Institute dubbed “The Refinery” being supervised by the Bank’s Human Capital Management Group is currently training 300 new intakes who are fresh from universities across and outside the country with diverse academic backgrounds and impressive academic records, in an ongoing intensive 12-week rigorous and thorough academic programme at the school, in Port Harcourt.
The Refinery is a tailored learning experience Institute with the perfect blend of technologies, techniques and methodologies to optimise training experiences, which will help employees succeed in ensuring that the bank’s business stays ahead of the curve with the banking sector along with Heritage Bank’s target goals.
Having visited The Refinery in Port Harcourt during the ushering in of the new intakes, the Group Head, Learning and Development of CIBN, Babatunde Apena in his commendation stressed that Heritage Bank’s training facility is the best in Nigerian banking industry and at par with international best standard.
According to him, despite the training facility still undergoing various upgrades for accreditation, it stands out as one of the best in the industry.
The MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, has described Heritage Bank as a forward looking business whose strength lies in the ability to spot and mould talents into great professionals.
He noted that the Refinery was established to train, nurture and arm young employees with the right skills needed to fast-track development and enable teams to flourish.
Sekibo further explained that at the Academy, “we hire young graduates who want to advance their skill levels, which will lead to a direct and indirect improvement of life for their families and communities that will culminate toward more productive, resourceful persons.”
According to him, any business that hopes to survive the current economic challenges must devise a creative way of harnessing the full potentials of the talents that abound among the nation’s teeming youth population.
He urged the lucky intakes that after their graduation, they should see the opportunity as a privilege to contribute their quota towards the development of Nigeria by imbibing the bank’s mantra of commitment to spreading the culture of Wealth Creation, Preserve and Transfer.
“Just as the word Refinery connotes, the Heritage Bank Plc Refinery is a Facility where crude talents or abilities are converted or ‘refined’ into ‘finished’ jewels for optimal performance.
“The training program is designed to take each participant on an enriching, rigorous and intellectually engaging learning journey to equip them with the fundamental competencies required of a professional banker. The Curriculums are structured to accommodate both Core and Non-Core Banking competencies such as finance, credit and accounting, organizational and behavioral competencies to mention a few”, Sekibo stated.
The bank’s helmsman also pointed out that Heritage Bank was assimilating the large number of new hands at a time when gainful employment was becoming hard to come by; stressing that the bank had always remained optimistic and pragmatic in deploying its resources for developmental ends.
According to him, “In recent times, operators in the banking sector have discovered that margins are shrinking, costs are rising and yet nothing is changing. You are coming into an industry that most people think it is impossible to survive but we at Heritage Bank see opportunities in place of despair. So, therefore, your employment comes with uniqueness and promise. Everything you are about to learn at the Training School is very important to our balance as an industry and as a company as well as your progress as individuals.
Heritage Bank Empowers ‘HB Lab’ Tech Start-Ups’ Winners With $40,000 Grants
As part of its efforts to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa, Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider has doled out $40, 000 grants to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab.
The maiden edition of Heritage Bank Innovation Lab Accelerator programme (HB-LAB) tagged, ‘Demo Day,’ is a 12-week programme, expected to provide technology start-ups seeking additional investments to progress and accelerate market introduction/adoption of their solutions with co-working and internet resources, guidance and mentorship with finch start-ups founder and seed funding. However, the bank’s commitment is to create enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial Inclusion/Intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.
At the grand finale of the programme, of the seven groups, Trep Labs-Real Drip emerged the winner with the most compelling solution won the N10million, whilst Ladipomarket.com.ng won the N5million prize, as the 1st runner-up, which is equivalent of $40, 000.
Speaking at the event, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank knew it was in the best interest of the country to pay attention to the development to the technology and industrial sector. According to him, “the future of the country lies in the hands of its youth. Our youths are talented, and Heritage Bank is committed to harnessing this talent to grow the economy.”
He noted that although in Nigeria, technology startups still account for a relatively small share of all businesses, but they have an outsized impact on economic growth, because they provide better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contribute more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.
Sekibo explained further, “Newly starting up a business is part of the most difficult stage of the business, you would need to source for capital and manpower. Considering the fact that you are a new business those items are not so easy and cheap for you to acquire.
“However, the presentations we have seen today shows how gifted Nigeria is with human resources, our youths have demonstrated that the country still has a beautiful future.
“I am impressed with the start-ups, after six weeks of drilling and grooming they have been able to develop up to this point; everyone is a winner tonight as far as I am concerned.
“Based on the success of this maiden edition we are going to continue this initiative, we would go back to our laboratory and create something bigger for the upcoming editions.”
When asked what he felt about Artificial Intelligence being used in banks, he explained: “Technology has been playing a key role towards enhancing the banking sector. Thus, we saw the need to create an Artificial Intelligence product called Octopus, which has been piloted and its second edition is almost ready for launching.
On his part, the Co-founder TREP Labs, Alayande Abiola, said, “Emerging as first place and winning the ten million naira is going to help the growth of our clinical solutions.
“Now we would be able to complete our clinical trials, optimise our products development and also provide enough healthcare solutions that are battling with the country.”
Earlier, the bank’s Divisional Head Innovation and Partnership, Ikenna Imo, explained: “Twelve weeks ago we welcomed seven talented and diverse start-ups, at that time our intentions were clear that we were ready to create distinctive propositions that solves issues facing the country currently.
“Today, I have no doubts that the start-ups we have assembled after a selective and competitive process have what it takes to accomplish that.
Over the last 12 weeks, the HB Lab has hosted a number of business leaders and founders within in the tech ecosystem who shared the experiences and evolutions of their respective businesses with the aim to inspire and impart business knowledge in the young minds looking to start out their own tech-enabled businesses.
Some of the mentors at the program include; Gbenga Awe (Heritage Bank Plc), Tosin Eniolorunda (TeamApt), Abolore Salami (Riby), Deji Oduntan (Gokada), Muyiwa Faulkner (Mines.io), Shile Owoka (Smile Identity), Moses Sule (Oradian) to mention a few.
Heritage Bank Plc remains committed to championing sustainable value creation, leveraging technology to ensure a culture of innovation and mutually beneficial partnerships.
UBA Mastercard Holders to Win All-expenses-paid Trip to June 1 Finals of 2019 UEFA Champions League
Leading Pan-African Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in partnership with leading global payments and technology company, Mastercard, will be giving away all-expenses-paid trip tickets to 12 lucky customers of the bank and their plus ones to watch the Finals of the 2019 UEFA Champions League.
Open to all existing and new UBA Platinum Mastercard holders, this amazing giveaway is an opportunity to pamper customers and give them a unique, unforgettable and priceless experience including flights, visas, 5-star accommodation, tickets to watch either the semi-finals or final matches of the UEFA Champions League and so much more with their MasterCard Platinum Access.
A total of 12 UBA Platinum Mastercard holders from Nigeria and 11 other African countries will share the enthralling experience of watching the finals live with a loved one as well as enjoy the great ambience of host city of the Semi-Finals or Finals (Madrid). The participating countries are Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
“As we celebrate our 70 years of Banking and excellence, this is our way of rewarding customers for their continued patronage to the UBA brand. There will be many more this year as we want to continue to appreciate all our customers. Customers who qualify should get a UBA Platinum Mastercard and spend a minimum of $10,000 or its equivalent in his or her local currency to stand a chance to win the all-expense paid package. To get your UBA Platinum Mastercard at any UBA Branch, a customer simply needs to contact his or her relationship manager at any UBA branch office” the Group Head, Marketing, UBA Plc, Mrs. Dupe Olusola said.
She said, “The UEFA Champions League is the most sought-after trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world. To this end, we decided to partner Mastercard and UEFA in bringing the most iconic and cherished moments in the history of football to our esteemed and loyal customers who are the reason we are so successful.
“We realize that, a lot of our customers love football and we feel giving them this treasured experience while they are pampered in far-away Spain is the way to go. These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with our loyal customers across Nigeria and Africa,” Olusola said.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.