Unity Bank to Unveil New Investors After Failed Milost $1b Deal

L-R: On the front row: Company Secretary, Mohammed Shehu, Executive Director, Finance & Operations, Ebenezer Kolawole, Executive Director, South, Temisan Tuedor and Executive Director, Business Development and Compliance, Usman Abdulqadir- all of Unity Bank Plc during the launch of UniFi; a Youth Banking Product at University of Lagos on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

By Dipo Olowookere

The board of Unity Bank Plc has confirmed that it is in discussions with prospective investors, who are interested in putting their money into the bank with a view to recapitalising it.

According to the lender, which was recently suspended by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for failing to release its financial results, details of the talks would be revealed to its shareholders as soon as the deal is finalised.

In a statement to the NSE on Friday, the financial institution said, “We are pleased to inform our shareholders that discussions with our prospective investors are progressing according to plan and will be concluded shortly, following which necessary regulatory approvals would be sought and announcement made.”

Unity Bank explained that the reason it did not release its financial scorecards on time was because of these talks with the new investors.

“The delay in filing the financial statements was occasioned by certain corporate actions, including ongoing discussions with the bank’s prospective investors undertaken by the bank which necessitated extensive reviews by our primary regulator.

“In furtherance of this, the bank consulted extensively with both the NSE and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and obtained extension of up to October 31, 2018 to file the accounts for which it remains appreciative,” Unity Bank said.

However, 24 hours after the NSE suspended trading on the shares of Unity Bank on its platform, the bank released the results.

“This is to inform the NSE, our esteemed shareholders and other stakeholders that Unity Bank Plc has released its Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 as well as the year 2018 Quarterly Audited Financial Statements up to September 30, 2018,” the bank said.

Business Post recalls that earlier this year, Unity Bank was in the news concerning talks with a US-based private equity company, Milost Global, for a possible injection of $1 billion into the bank.

However, things went bad and the deal did not materialise because Milost pulled out of the proposed transaction.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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