Union Bank Denies Purported Sale Of Owner’s Stake

The Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has today issued a disclaimer against an unsubstantiated publication by one of Nigeria’s leading online news site, that its principal owner is considering selling its 50% stake in the firm.

The disclaimer was signed by the bank’s secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

Recall that a few days ago, some online news website had reported that Union Bank’s principal owner, Atlas Mara is considering selling its stake in the firm, after receiving bids from local banks. The report has it that Atlas Mara engaged the services of a financial advisor, Rothschild & Co to consider the deal.

In a bid to shed more light on the issue and allay the fears of stakeholders, Union Bank dismissed the claims, describing it as a mere ‘rumour and speculation’. It went further to advise relevant stakeholders which comprises of the members of the public, its customers, NSE and other regulatory bodies to disregard the speculation in its entirety.

Corroborating the stand maintained by the bank, Atlas Mara also rejected the report. It clarified the issue of contracting external advisers, noting that it was in line with the Board’s decision to explore a wide range of strategic options.

An excerpt of the disclaimer issued by the firm reads: “While it is the Company’s practice to refrain from comment on market rumours or speculation, we believe it is important to note that Atlas Mara has not received any offers from any local Nigerian bank or other bank wishing to acquire the Company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria (“UBN”). As previously announced to the market in 2019, the Board of the Company has been exploring a wide range of strategic options with the assistance of external advisers. That process is still underway and the Company’s strategic objectives have not changed.’’

What you should know

  • Atlas Mara is currently the biggest shareholder in Union Bank of Nigeria, with a stake of 49.97% (approximately 50%).
  • Union Bank Nigeria Plc share price closed trading today, January 27, 2021 at N5.7, down by 3.39%. It also has a market capitalization of about N165.99 billion.
  • Based on the current market capitalization, the stake of Atlas Mara translates to approximately N82.9 billion.

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