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Ecobank Acquires TTB   
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It has now been confirmed that Ecobank Ghana is in the process of taking over The Trust Bank (TTB) as transactional advisers have been appointed to oversee the acquisition.

Business Guide, a sister paper to Daily Guide was the first to report that Ecobank Ghana, one of the top four banks in the country was going to acquire majority stake in TTB about four weeks ago.

The majority shareholder of TTB, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), is bent on selling its 61 percent shares in TTB to the pan-African bank. Investigations earlier conducted by the paper revealed that the deal had been signed and sealed and preparations were underway for the formal acquisition to take place during the year.

The latest information indicates that SSNIT and Ecobank Ghana have appointed Strategic African Securities (SAS) owned by Togbe Afede XIV and Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) to serve as transactional advisers.

While SSNIT has indicated that it would rationalize its participation in investments it considers unworthy, Ecobank Group or Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Group, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Arnold Ekpe has stated that it was going to welcome any merger or acquisition in a friendly manner.

The two advisers are expected to help fine tune the due legal, corporate and financial diligence, which is expected to be concluded by the end of September 2011.

Media reports have suggested the interest of Ecobank, which has a presence in 32 countries, was motivated primarily by TTB’s approach to SME banking as well as its strategic branch network.

Already, the Bank of Ghana has approved the deal after the resolution was passed by TTB’s shareholders last month.

A statement issued by the two banks and signed by their respective managing directors, Samuel Adjei and Larry Yirenkyi-Boafo yesterday expressed excitement about the proposed merger, noting that it has the potential to better serve customers.

The statement said the decision was supported by SSNIT, chaired by Kwame Peprah, which shares in the strategic logic of the proposed merger, mainly to create a stronger bank capable of meeting the challenges of the fast growing economy.

Accordingly, it said the transaction will create a bank better able to provide world-class banking services and products to customers including individuals, small and medium scale enterprises, local companies, multinationals, government and government related businesses.

“Together, we would emerge market leaders in the retail, corporate and investment banking space.”

The two banks assured costumers that the merger process will not affect business with them during the transition period. “Each step of the process will be carefully managed to minimize disruption. Once all regulatory and other relevant approvals are received to consummate the transaction, we believe our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries as together we would be able to serve you better with a broader range of banking solutions.”

While Ecobank has over 25 branches, TTB has 20 networked branches across the country.

According to PriceWaterHouse Coopers, only Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Merchant Bank and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) have so far meet the Bank of Ghana’s mining capital requirement of GH˘60 million with less than 18 months left for local banks to recapitalize.

According to reports, some of the local banks including
CAL, First Atlantic Merchant, Prudential and National Investment Bank (NIB), a state-owned bank, will have to recapitalize before the deadline.
Source: Charles Nixon

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