By Peter Egwuatu
LAGOS — The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, yesterday, officially transferred the ownership of Mainstreet Bank Limited and Enterprise Bank Limited to their new owners, Skye Bank Plc and Heritage Bank Limited, respectively.
At the divestment ceremony held in Lagos, yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, warned against a recurrence of the factors which led to the takeover of the three bridge banks, namely Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank Limited.
According to him, “if the bridge bank option had not been adopted in 2011, the systemic crisis in the banking crisis would have been unprecedented and costly in terms of its effects on other banks.”
He thanked AMCON and the interim management of the two banks for taking up the responsibility of assisting the CBN to stabilise the bridge banks and restoring them to good financial health.
Chairman of AMCON, Alhaji Kola Belgore, disclosed that the bridge banks had been restored to financial solvency, stating that Mainstreet Bank’s profit at the end of December 2014 stood at N13 billion while Enterprise Bank recorded a profit of N3 billion.
Speaking on the occasion, Group Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc, owners of Mainstreet Bank, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, said the bank saw value and synergies in the acquired bank and promised to harness and optimize the value.
Oguntayo thanked the Board of AMCON, CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, for conducting a transparent process that led to the selection of the bid winners for the bridge banks and for granting all the required clearance and approvals that paved the way for the acquisition and eventual takeover.
AMCON announced Skye Bank and Heritage Bank as the preffered bidders for Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank respectively in the last quarter of 2014. Both banks had since completed the payments for the 100 per cent shares of the two acquired banks, and are currently conducting a process for seamless integration.