Access, Diamond Merger to Be Finalised in April

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Access Bank Plc Thursday disclosed that its business combination deal with Diamond Bank Plc, which aims to produce Africa’s largest retail lender by customers will be concluded about two months earlier than initially expected.

The deal, which was set to close in June, would be completed in the second quarter, Bloomberg quoted the Lagos-based lender to have said.

Access Bank has also canceled a planned N75 billion ($207 million) rights issue as it’s no longer needed to meet the central bank’s minimum capital thresholds, its Chief Executive Officer Herbert Wigwe said on an investor call.

Access Bank agreed last year to buy Carlyle-backed Diamond Bank in a deal worth about $200 million..

By the conclusion of the deal, Access Bank’s assets could swell to about $17 billion from $12.5 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations. Zenith Bank Plc is currently the largest Nigerian lender, with $15.4 billion of assets.

Access Bank’s shares rose 6.2 per cent to N6 at close of trading in Lagos, while Diamond Bank climbed 0.5 percent to N2.10 Thursday.