AMCON to release Enterprise’s bid price after payment

Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria will release the amount to be paid by the preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank after necessary payments must have been made, AMCON’s spokesman, Mr. Kayode Lambo, indicated on Tuesday. “The preferred bidder is yet to pay. We have appointed advisers handling the entire process. As soon as the process is completed and payment is made, we will make necessary announcement,” Lambo said.

There had been unconfirmed reports that the preferred bidder would pay N56bn or N65bn for the bridge bank. AMCON had on Thursday announced Heritage Bank-sponsored HBSL Investment Services Limited as the preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank.

This came over a year after AMCON began the sale process of the nationalised bank. Enterprise Bank is one of the three nationalised banks created after the 2009 banking crisis, which saw the nationalisation of Afribank Plc, Bank PHB Plc and Spring Bank Plc.

The three bridge banks created from the failed banks are Enterprise Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank. A statement by AMCON confirming the bid result said Heritage Bank emerged the preferred bidder, while Fidelity Bank was the reserve bidder.

The statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Lambo, said, “The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is pleased to announce HBCL Investment Services Limited as preferred bidder and Fidelity Bank Plc as reserve bidder for the acquisition of the entire issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of Enterprise Bank Limited. This follows the receipt of the approval of the Board of Directors of AMCON. HISL is sponsored by Heritage Banking Company Limited.”

Lambo said in the event that Heritage Bank was unable to meet the share purchase agreement, Fidelity Bank would become the preferred bidder. The Central Bank of Nigeria had on August 5, 2011 revoked the operating licences of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB, which it said did not show enough capacity and ability for recapitalisation.

In their place, the CBN, through the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, established three bridge banks and transferred the assets and liabilities of the affected banks to the bridge banks. Mainstreet Bank took over the assets and liabilities of Afribank; Keystone Bank assumed the assets and liabilities of Bank PHB; while Enterprise Bank took over Spring Bank.