Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, on Tuesday January 28, 2020, announced that it has entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest of its 100% equity stake in Union Bank UK Plc. (UBUK). This sale is aligned with Union Bank’s strategy to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.
Following a competitive bid process, MBU BidCo Limited (MBU), an acquisition vehicle wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited (MBU Capital), was selected as the preferred bidder. The completion of the sale is subject to regulatory approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the planned divestment, Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, said: “As the banking landscape shifts towards digital and agency banking to drive financial inclusion, the Nigerian market presents robust long-term opportunities for Union Bank. This divestment allows us channel our focus and capital towards mining those opportunities fully. Through the sale, we are better positioned to deliver greater value to the organization and its stakeholders as well as continue to build the future of banking in Nigeria. The terms of the sale of UBUK delivers substantial value to our shareholders, while also entrusting its customers and trading partners to a high-quality financial services institution who will work with existing management to deliver a stronger and more profitable entity.”
Mohammed Iqbal, Founder and CEO of MBU Capital commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Union Bank UK, subject to regulatory approval. We see a huge opportunity to build on UBUK’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank which is focused on the needs of UK and international SMEs and entrepreneurs. Many of these customers are seeking a bank which truly understands the needs of entrepreneurial, fast-growing businesses. We believe that our acquisition and vision for UBUK offers the potential for significant growth for the bank. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at UBUK to continue to service the needs of its clients. We also look forward to sustaining and deepening relationships with UBUK’s existing trading partners.”
Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as Financial Advisers while White & Case LLP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as UK Legal Advisers and Nigeria Legal Advisers respectively to Union Bank. Syndeo Capital Limited (led by Mandeep Ahluwalia) acted as Advisers to MBU Capital with Akin Gump LLP as Legal Advisers and PwC as Financial and Tax Advisers.
Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank has a network of over 300 Sales and Service Centres across Nigeria.
Following recapitalisation in 2012 from new investors and a new Executive Management team, Union Bank has undergone an award-winning transformation programme to re-establish the bank as a leading provider of financial services in Nigeria.
Union Bank is focused on Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking businesses. In addition to standard current and savings product portfolio, Union Bank has launched pioneering products into the Nigerian retail market including UnionKorrect, UnionGoal and UnionBetta.