Oceanic Bank logo
Oceanic Bank Plc’s shares Monday advanced further as Diamond Bank Plc confirmed reports that it had expressed interest in the acquisition of the rescued bank.
It gained 9.24 per cent on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to close at N1.26 per share yesterday, as against the N1.14 per share it stood last Thursday.
THISDAY had at the weekend, exclusively reported that Diamond Bank Plc had opened up discussions with the management of Oceanic Bank and commenced due diligence, preparatory to the possible acquisition of the bank. THISDAY had learnt that Diamond Bank was one of six bidders that had opened up discussions with Oceanic Bank after the merger and acquisition talks between the latter and First Bank of Nigeria Plc broke down last April.
Sources said the ongoing due process is programmed to end as quickly as possible to enable the two banks cross other hurdles of recapitalisation process should they agree on terms for the acquisition bid.
Reuters Monday quoted Diamond Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Abdulrahman Yinusa, to have said that the move would help his organisation expand its footprint in the Nigerian banking industry.
"Talks are very preliminary, we have registered our interest (with central bank) and we are doing due diligence," Yinusa said.
“It’s very early days. We’re not doing a cash purchase, it’s going to be a share for share combination,” Yinusa also informed Bloomberg.
However, Banking Analysts at Renaissance Capital, Mr. Adesoji Solanke, opined that the move will give Diamond Bank a footprint in its retail strategy.
“Given what we now know, Diamond is clearly looking to go the acquisition route but isn’t quite there yet, as there are other parties it has to contend with (Helios and ETI), so it’s pretty much a game of probability at this point. Now, we wait for discussion results to be announced, and retain our HOLD rating on the stock,” Solanke stated in e-mail to THISDAY.