By Dipo Olowookere
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has refuted reports that it was having talks with Access Bank Plc on the possibility of becoming an entity in the banking industry.
The financial institution, in a disclosure to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), described the reports as “unsubstantiated.”
An online news platform had claimed there were ongoing discussions between the two companies, with Access Bank allegedly planning to acquire Union Bank.
Yesterday, Access Bank quickly released a statement to deny the report and following was Union Bank, which said the reports should be disregarded.
“Our attention has been drawn to a blog post on the aforementioned site (and circulating on social media) positing that Access Bank is in talks to acquire Union Bank.
“As the post itself states, the unfounded report is based on ‘mere rumours and speculation’
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange, other regulatory agencies and members of the public are advised to disregard the publication in its entirety,” the bank said.
Business Post recalls that last month, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, while rolling out his five-year plan, announced that there would be another recapitalisation exercise in the banking industry in the country.
This announcement made observers to start making assumptions of banks that may not survive this raising of capital base by the CBN.
It also brought about possible mergers in the sector, with speculations of banks that may possibly merge or be acquired by some bigger banks.
In March 2019, Access Bank completed its merger with Diamond Bank. This first started as a rumour in late 2018, but Access Bank then denied making such move.
Access Bank, one of the five tier-one financial institutions in Nigeria, is known for expanding its operations by acquiring other banks.
In 2011, the lender completed the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, which was one of the banks having huge prospects before the deal.
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