By Babajide Komolafe
Heritage Bank Limited Wednesday completed the payment of N56 billion to acquire Enterprise Bank.
Enterprise Bank is one of the three nationalised banks bought by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in 2011, following the failure to meet the recapitalisation deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The other banks are Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank.

Vanguard investigation revealed that the Heritage Bank successfully completed the payment for the acquisition of Enterprise Bank. Though as at the time of going to press AMCON said the payment is yet to reflect in its account, Vanguard investigations reveal that the payment has been confirmed by the some financial institutions involved in the

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transaction.

AMCON spokesman, Kayode Lambo told Vanguard that Heritage Bank officials have informed AMCON of the payment of 80 percent balance has been paid. “But the payment is yet to be reflected in our accounts. However the deadline does not expire till 12 midnight today (Wednesday)”

Heritage Bank emerged as the preferred bidder for Enterprise Bank through HBCL Investment Services, a special purpose company established for the transaction.

“This process started with interest shown by 24 parties cutting across local and international bidders.

The emergence of HISL and Fidelity Bank as preferred and reserve bidders respectively resulted from a rigorous and competitive bidding process, which was coordinated for AMCON by Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Vetiva Capital Management Limited (Financial Advisers) and G. Elias & Co. (Legal Advisers), AMCON said in a statement announcing the bid.

Following the announcement by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on September 11th as the preferred bidder ahead of Fidelity Bank (reserved bidder), Heritage Bank on September 15th made the first payment of 20 percent of its bid offer in accordance with the terms of the acquisition, while it was to pay the remaining 80 percent by Monday October 13th. AMCON however extended the deadline by two days to today, in cognisance of the two days Sallah Holiday last week.

With the acquisition of Enterprise Bank, Heritage Bank has emerged has a major player in the banking industry. Enterprise Bank commenced operation in August, 2011, as a full-service commercial bank with a national banking license. The Bank operates via a sizeable distribution network of over 160 branches spread across major markets and commercial centres in Nigeria, and with over 177 ATMs, 57 Cash Centres and 2,000 POS terminals.

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