Vanguard (Lagos)

3 February 2014

Nigeria: Unity Bank to Sell 50.3 Percent Holding in UnityKapital

UnityKapital Assurance Plc has announced plan by its major shareholder, Unity Bank Plc, to divest its 50.30 percent holdings in the underwriting firm.

Consequently, Capital Assets Limited has been appointed as the Financial Adviser to the transaction and a "Request for Expression of Interest, EOI," for the sale of the shares has been prepared for publication.

The divestment, according to a statement from Unitykapital is in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)'s directive that all banks in Nigeria should divest from non-banking subsidiaries or adopt a holding company structure in keeping with the new licensing regime.

It would be recalled that Unity Bank had last year secured shareholders approval in an extra-ordinary general meeting to divest about N5.4 billion of its non-banking subsidiaries.

The Group Managing Director, Falalu Bello, had informed the shareholders that the bank's investment in non-banking subsidiaries was in three categories which include; subsidiaries, associates and other investments, saying that it was divesting from Unity Investment & Capital Limited which it owned 100 percent in the sum of N307.21 million and Unity Registrars Limited which it owned 100 percent in the sum of N143.64 million.

Unity Bank also divested its 55 percent stake in Northlink Insurance Brokers Limited, which cost N35.23 million; Newdevcom Investments & Securities Limited in which it controlled 54 percent in the sum of N166.40 million.

Others include: Hexalix Properties Limited which it owned 100 percent and costs N137. 27 million; FUG Pension Limited in which it had 55 percent stake costing N255.11 million and Unity Bureau De Change which is 100 percent owned by the bank with the cost of N287.30 million.

The three associate companies from which the bank divested include Caranda Management Services Limited, which it controlled by 42 percent at the sum of N97.18 million; Pelican Prints Limited (40 percent), costing N11.84 million and Unity Kapital Assurance Plc (49.49 percent) costing N4.05 billion.

Other investments and holdings it divested from include Knight Rook Limited (25 percent); Kakawa Discount House Limited (six percent); FSDH (eight percent); ICHL Nigeria Limited (15 percent); NIBBS ( four percent); CSCS (one percent); Jaiz International Limited (one percent); and Afrexim Bank (one percent).

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