Access Bank debunks Union Bank takeover

Access Bank plc on Monday denied social media rumour of taking over Union Bank of Nigeria plc.

The lender this year had merged with Diamond Bank plc to form one of the strongest financial institutions in the country.

The company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi in a statement on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said: “Our attention has been drawn to recent social media report of Access Bank being engaged in talks to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria.

“The NSE and the general public are hereby advised to discountenance such rumour as same is devoid of truth. The bank is not engaged in any discussion with Union Bank of Nigeria or any of its shareholders regarding any such transaction.”

Access Bank is currently one of the five tier-one lenders in Nigeria. The bank has acquired its status through acquisition of other banks.

In 2011, the Bank acquired Intercontinental Bank. In 2018 Access Bank again completed its acquisition and merger agreement with Diamond Bank, widely believed to be undergoing tough times before the deal.

Atlas Mara owns the largest shareholding in Union Bank. The Bob Diamond led Sub-saharan Africa financial services group, bought its first stake in Union Bank in 2016 and it has since increased its hold about three times via rights issue participation Union Bank in 2017. Atlas Mara combined direct and indirect shareholding in Union Bank is now 49.0%.

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