Information reaching us has that Access Bank is set to acquire Diamond Bank. We gathered that the acquisition deal is on and the eventual take over of Diamond Bank by Access Bank will take place in the first quarter of next year.
Sources said that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition. What is left is the valuation of assets, with a view to determining the level of compensation and systems’ integration.
Insiders squealed to us that the impending acquisition was triggered by Diamond Bank directors who approached Access Bank for intervention in a bid to stave off a possible regulatory intervention that could lead to the withdrawal of the lender’s operating licence in the light of the bank’s depleting capital adequacy ratio on account of a huge Non Performing Loans (NPLs) portfolio put at over N150billion.
Insiders added that; “It’s a complete acquisition and not a merger,” a source, who asked not to be identified, but who is familiar with the transaction, said, adding that one of the major considerations that swayed Access Bank’s directors in accepting the offer was the large branch network of the lender. “ It’s burgeoning NPLs, however, was of serious concern to Access Bank and almost becoming a disincentive, but it has been addressed.”