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FirstRand's Nigerian acquisition faces challenges

27 May 2013, 12:09

Abuja - FirstRand Bank's proposed acquisitions of two Nigerian nationalized banks suffered a setback after it emerged some former shareholders of the banks were challenging the transaction through the courts.

Managing Director and Chief Executive of FirstRand Bank, Sizwe Nxasana, announced last week that the bank was hoping to acquire Keystone and Mainstreet.

The Assets Management Association of Nigeria (AMCON) also recently announced the beginning of the final process for the sale of the banks.

Sunny Nwosu, chairman of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said the announcement was a nullity since the cases relating to the appropriateness of the bridging of the banks are still in court.

"It is illegal to go ahead with the acquisition. We should all wait for the court to decide on the matter. We will pursue all the cases to their logical conclusion. We will even file a new case against the sales if need be, " Nwosu said.

Nwosu's contention was echoed by the Chairman of the Standard Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Godwin Anono.

"This is not right. We will file a new case and put it on record that we fight the sale of these banks," Anono said.

He claimed that prime properties of the bridged banks have been sold to some directors of AMCON, lamenting that, "the bridging and sale of the banks amounted to taking from the poor minority shareholders to feed rich men, who were responsible for the huge bad loans that sank the banks."

- CAJ News


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