By Peter Egwuatu
DIAMOND Bank Plc has concluded arrangement to divest its 97.07 per cent equity stake valued at €61 million (Sixty One million Euros) in Diamond S.A through a deal with Manzi Finances.
Diamond Bank, in a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Uzoma Uja, sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, weekend, explained that the proposed divestment was part of the bank’s plan to align its business operations to its long term goal of capitalising on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian market.
According to Uja, “In August 2017, Diamond Bank executed a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with Manzi Finances S.A (“Manzi Finances”), a financial services holding company based in Cote d’Ivoire. As part of the terms and conditions that will govern the divestment, the bank will dispose its entire 1,985,000 shares, which translates to 97.07 per cent of outstanding shares in Diamond SA, for €61 million (Sixty One million Euros) Regulatory approvals have been obtained in all jurisdictions for the transaction.”
The statement further stated: “Further to the provisions of Rule 17 of the NSE Rules and Rule 187 of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Rules & Regulations, which require the disclosure of material non-public information to the NSE, we hereby notify the NSE of the Transaction; in view of the potential effect of the Transaction on the securities of the Bank listed on the NSE.”
Uja noted that Diamond Bank’s strategic objective is to be the fastest growing and most profitable technology driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria. “This strategic intent requires the bank to optimize the use of its resources which means, where necessary, divesting from its non-core assets, and focusing on the priority area, namely Nigerian retail banking. The Nigerian market has vast potential due to strong fundamentals, including millions of people who are either under banked or unbanked, and changing lifestyles that favour use of mobile devices to complete multiple transactions via digital and technology platforms at consumers’ convenience. This is also underpinned by significant economic potential driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, and a growing culture of innovation” he added.
He further stressed that the updated approach and deployment of resources stands to benefit all of Diamond Bank’s key stakeholders — shareholders, customers and employees — in the immediate, medium and long term.