Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has entered a share sale and purchase agreement to divest its 100 per cent equity stake in its United Kingdom (UK) subsidiary, Union Bank UK (UBUK) Plc.
In a regulatory filing just released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the board of Union Bank stated that the sale was in line with the bank’s strategy to geographically streamline its business operations to focus on growth opportunities in Nigeria.
According to the bank, following a competitive bid process, MBU BidCo Limited (MBU), an acquisition vehicle wholly owned by MBU Capital Limited (MBU Capital), was selected as the preferred bidder. The completion of the sale is however still subject to regulatory approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria and the UK.
MBU Capital is an investment management firm founded in 2013 and based in Mayfair, London. MBU Capital has active interests in financial services, healthcare, education, real estate and technology. MBU Capital (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Emeka Emuwa said the bank decided that as the banking landscape shifts towards digital and agency banking to drive financial inclusion, the Nigerian market presents robust long-term opportunities for it.
He pointed out that the divestment allows the bank to channel its focus and capital towards mining the Nigerian opportunities fully.
“Through the sale, we are better positioned to deliver greater value to the organisation and its stakeholders as well as continue to build the future of banking in Nigeria. The terms of the sale of UBUK delivers substantial value to our shareholders, while also entrusting its customers and trading partners to a high-quality financial services institution which will work with existing management to deliver a stronger and more profitable entity,” Emuwa said.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MBU Capital, Mohammed Iqbal said the investment group was delighted with the acquisition, describing it as a huge opportunity to build on UBUK’s strengths in international markets to create a new-style bank which is focused on the needs of UK and international SMEs and entrepreneurs.
According to him, many customers are seeking a bank which truly understands the needs of entrepreneurial, fast-growing businesses.
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“We believe that our acquisition and vision for UBUK offers the potential for significant growth for the bank. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at UBUK to continue to service the needs of its clients. We also look forward to sustaining and deepening relationships with UBUK’s existing trading partners,” Iqbal said.