During a press briefing on the merger between the two banks in Lagos on Wednesday, Wigwe said the bank’s customer base would hit 29 million after the merger with Diamond Bank Plc.
He said, “Access Bank has already finalised terms and obtained regulatory approvals for a Tier II capital issuance, which will raise $250m, available for drawdown in January 2019.
“Access Bank has also obtained “No objection” from the Central Bank of Nigeria to undertake a rights issue to raise up to N75bn ($ 207m) in H1 2019. Shareholder approvals and other regulatory approvals will be obtained before the offer opens. This accelerates the capital management plan to support retail growth, previously set out in the bank’s five-year strategy.”
The Access Bank boss put Diamond Bank’s current customer base at 19 million, including 10 million mobile users.
“Diamond Bank will benefit from Access Bank’s strong culture of risk and capital management expertise and a clear strategy for sustainable growth. Access Bank will take advantage of Diamond Bank’s unparalleled retail banking expertise and strong digital offering.
“Together, the two companies would create one of Nigeria’s leading banks, with 29 million customers, including more than 13 million mobile customers, as well as 3,100 Automated Teller Machines and around 32,000 Point of Sale terminals.”
He also said that the bank would decide if “it wants to go into pension business by retaining the pension licence of Diamond Pension Fund Custodian, which is a subsidiary of Diamond Bank.
“We will take a very strategic decision whether we will have to sell it or keep it,” he noted.
According to him, the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and announcement of headline terms valued Diamond Bank at approximately N72.5bn ($200m) and will see Diamond Bank shareholders receive N3.13 per share in cash and shares.
The merger would form a leading Tier 1 Nigerian bank and the largest bank in Africa by number of customers, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 29 million clients, he said.
He stated that the transaction would be concluded through scheme of merger following Access Bank and Diamond Bank Court-Ordered Meetings expected in March 2019 to approve the terms.
Wigwe added that this was subject to shareholders approvals, final approvals from the Security and Exchange Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria, and National Pension Commission as well as the FHC sanction expected before the end of the first half of 2019.
He said, “Cost synergies conservatively estimated at N30bn per annum, pre-tax, to be fully realised within three years post-completion. Further revenue and balance sheet synergies to be evaluated by joint implementation committee.”
While responding to a question on what would be the fate of Diamond Bank workers, he said, “It is not a matter of asking people to go because that is certainly not what we are looking to do. The idea is to re-skill people, get people to perform at the best level they can be and get people to be at the same standard as far as performance is concerned at same level across both institutions.”
Corroborating his statement, the Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, said, “We have a talent pool of very good people that we need to drive to ensure that we maintain value in the combined entity, and people who want to go and people who want to stay, all depends on performance- driven matrix that both organisations already follow.”