The Bank of Ghana has stated that it has not approved a purported takeover of adb by uniBank.
uniBank is set to assume a controlling interest in adb after a consortium of shareholders pledged their shares, proceeds, entitlement and voting rights to uniBank.
But speaking at the commissioning of the new Ecobank Head office in Accra on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, said the Central Bank has not given any consent as reported.
“So let me respond to some developing story this morning, the Bank of Ghana has not given approval to the purported takeover or through the pledging of shares to uniBank,” the Governor stated.
The consortium comprises four shareholders including; Belstar Capital (24%), Starmount Development company (11%), EDC (6%) as well as SIC Financial Services Limited (10%).
The shareholding capacity of the consortium of shareholders amounts to 51 percent, thus giving uniBank access to control majority ownership in adb.
The development also comes at a time where the government has announced plans to build a big and well-capitalized bank to be known as the National Development Bank by merging adb and NIB.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, announced this when he delivered the 2018 budget statement.
uniBank confirms controlling interest in adb
uniBank has confirmed to Citi News that it has gone into a transaction with four major shareholders of Agricultural Development Bank (adb) that has effectively given majority control of the state bank.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, the CEO of uniBank, Dr. Kwabena Duffour Jr. said the plan is in the best interest of the banking industry.
“For now, we have the power and control to change it from adb. Down the line we might decide to do a proper transfer where we will need the approval of the various regulatory bodies but for now we have the power and control over it,” he added.
Dr. Duffour Jr, however, failed to give further details on how they managed to secure the deal in adb saying “I’m not at liberty to discuss the underlining transaction.”
GSE suspends adb over purported ‘takeover’ by uniBank
Meanwhile, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has suspended the Agricultural Development Bank (adb) following a purported takeover of the bank by Unibank.
A statement from the GSE said the action was taken pursuant to section 7 of the GSE Automated Trading rules.
“With reference to Section 7 of the GSE Automated Trading Rules (ATS), the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), in consultation with the Chairman of the GSE Council has suspended trading in the shares of ADB effective March 7, 2018.”
This comes on the back of the takeover of UT and Capital banks by GCB bank in 2017.
The Bank of Ghana gave GCB bank the permission to purchase the two banks because they were unable to increase the capital requirements needed for their banking operations.
adb IPO row
The adb bank commenced its Initial Public Offer (IPO) in July 3, 2015.
Prior to that the bank was forced to put the IPO on hold several times following some agitations from the workers and some Ghanaians.
The Member of Parliament for the New Juaben South constituency, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah also dragged the bank to the Supreme Court insisting that the Bank’s IPO should first be approved by Parliament.