Shareholders of Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, Tuesday at a court ordered meeting in Lagos endorsed the merger of both financial institutions.
The voting results at the resolutions showed 97.89 per cent representing 14.3billion of a total of 14.6 billion shares voted for the merger while 2.10 per cent voted against.
In a separate meeting, 99.98 per cent, representing 15.1billion shares of Diamond bank shareholders voted in favour of the merger, 0.02 per cent voted to abstain from the merger while there was no single vote against the merger.
The banks’ shareholders expressed optimism that merger will impact on the growth of institution, stressing the need for the bank to recover all the legacy loans to increase shareholders’ returns on investment.
According to the scheme of merger between the two Banks, “the entire assets, liabilities and undertakings of Diamond Bank shall be merged with Access Bank to form the assets, liabilities and undertakings of the Enlarged Access bank which shall carry on the business of Diamond Bank, while Diamond Bank shall be dissolved without being wounded up.
The scheme explained that in order to preserve and maximizes value for the enlarge Access Bank post merger, Access Bank will ensure that all employees of the two institutions would be treated fairly and their continuing employment with the Enlarged Access Bank shall be based on merit.
Member, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Adebayo Adeleke said shareholders want to see the birth and growth of a new bank, an Access bank that is willing to take over the entire world and more profitable.
National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders of Nigeria, Bisi Bakare thanked Access Bank for bringing life to Diamond Bank, adding that shareholders want Access to be numbers one in terms of return on investment.
Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe while speaking at the meeting said, the merger will allow access bank to accelerate its prospects of becoming the leading retail bank in Nigeria an Africa.
He said, through the merger with Diamond Bank, Access bank will achieve the exponential expansion of its retail banking franchise, adding that the expected revenue and cost synergies are material to the significant long term value.
According to him, Access Bank will benefit from diamond banks unparalleled retail banking activities and strong digital offerings. “Together the two banks will create one of Nigeria’s leading banks with 27 million customers, 3100 Automated Teller Machine (ATMs), 32000 Point of Sales (PoS) and more than 10 million mobile customers. Access Bank and Diamond Bank share similar areas of focus including women, youths, financially excluded and entrepreneurs.
“The combined relationship will have a robust mobile banking relationship ensuring that customers of the enlarged Access bank would continue to access a strong mobile banking. Access bank and diamond bank will also operate from the same technology platform which the boards of both banks will enable them complete the integration with minimal disruption in addition to generating synergies, benefits and effects of the scheme.
“The boards of both banks believe that merging the two banks will provide significant opportunities and benefit to customers staff, shareholders regulators and other shareholders. The enlarged access bank will establish the largest retail bank in Africa by the number of customers
“The enlarged access bank skill and product range will further accelerate the financial inclusion drive that we were being processed separately. The enlarged access bank will increase its maker reach and customer convenience through an expanded branch network complemented by strengthened distribution channels. The enlarged access bank will have a strengthen commercial banking business through the combination of customers and by leveraging the combined product offerings,” he said.
Speaking further, he noted that the combination of diamond banks strong retail customer franchise and access bank proven risk management and capital management expertise will create a Nigerian financial institution with strong value creation.
He added that the enlarged access bank balance sheet in terms of size will be equipped with the capacity to provide credit lines to our more diversified client base. Finally the enlarged access bank will be a stronger and safer institutions with an enlarged capital base and
Following the approvals by the banks’ shareholders, regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) are expected to be obtained this month.
A timely approval from the CBN and SEC is crucial for the banks to meet the April 2019 timeline given for the completion of the merger.