Access Bank Seeks Shareholders’ Approval for N75bn Rights Issue

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Herbert Wigwe

Goddy Egene

The directors of Access Bank Plc are seeking shareholders’ approval to raise additional equity capital of up N75 billion via Rights Issue next year.

In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Thursday, the Access Bank is convening an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) for February 1, 2019 in Lagos, where it hopes to get shareholders’ approval.

Specifically, the directors want to be authorised to raise additional equity capital of up to a maximum of N75 billion by way of a Rights Issue in the ratio, on such terms and conditions and on such dates as may be determined by the directors, subject to obtaining the approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities.

Also, the directors want the bank’s authorised share capital be increased from N20 billion made up of 38 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each and two billion preference shares of 50 kobo each to N35 billion by the creation of 30 billion ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each.

The directors are equally proposed to the shareholders that pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement executed between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc on the merger of the two entities, if the Rights Issue contemplated is undertaken prior to the implementation date of the merger, they be authorised by way of a Placing and subject to obtaining all requisite regulatory approvals, to offer to Diamond Bank shareholders shares in Access Bank to be purchased after the implementation date on the same term as the Rights Issue and in the same proportion that they would be entitled to as if they had already become shareholders of Access Bank Plc.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, had on Monday disclosed that disclosed that it had finalised terms and obtained regulatory approvals for it to raise fresh $250 million tier II capital.

Wigwe had also confirmed that Access Bank has obtained a “no objection” from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to undertake a rights issue to raise up to N75 billion before the end of first of 2019.

He, however, pointed out that shareholder approvals and other regulatory approvals would be obtained before the offer opens.

“Let me let you know we have actually concluded with some of our partners to raise tier II capital. That would be ready for drawdown before the end of January and that is about $250 million.

“The reason is to make sure that even though we have more than enough capital today, that in the emerging entity, we have the strongest capital base that is required to support an entity of that nature.

“Access Bank has enough capacity to consummate this merger without additional capital. We are also taking steps to ensure that in line with international best practice and the need to create a capital buffer, the new institution that is being created will have adequate capital to support it going into the future,” Wigwe said.