By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma
Trading in the shares of Diamond Bank Plc has been placed on full suspension following the court sanction of the Scheme of Merger with Access Bank Plc.
The Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) in a notification to its dealing members posted on its website on Wednesday said that the full suspension takes effect from March 20.
“Dealing members are hereby notified that following the court sanction of the Scheme of Merger (Scheme) between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, trading in the shares of Diamond Bank has been placed on full suspension,” it stated.
The exchange said that the suspension was required to prevent trading in the shares of the bank in order to determine shareholders who would qualify to receive the scheme consideration.
It noted that Diamond Bank obtained the court sanction of the scheme on March 19, being the effective date of the scheme.
The NSE stated that the bank’s shareholders passed a resolution approving the merger between Diamond Bank and Access Bank Plc at the court ordered meeting of the bank held on March 5.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exchange will delist Diamond Bank from the daily official list at the exchange after the merger.
NAN reports that the shareholders of Diamond Bank and Access Bank at an Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) of both banks gave approvals for the merger.
Mr Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, told shareholders at the EGM that the merger enabled Access Bank to acquire a bank with 17 million retail customers and the most viable mobile payment platform.
Wigwe said that the expected revenue and cost synergies were material and promised significant long term value.
He said the bank, after the merger, would attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners.
“With the final merger of both banks and the status of the resulting entity as ‘the largest bank in Africa’s largest economy,’ this greatly bolsters the bank’s brand, opening doors of opportunity both in local and international markets,” he said.
He said the merger was expected to produce the largest banking group in Africa based on its number of customers with more than 29 million customers.
“The resulting entity which will maintain the brand name Access Bank, but with Diamond Bank colors, will have more than 29 million customers, 13 million of whom are mobile customers,” he said. (NAN)