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Shareholders Approve Access Bank’s Planned Holdco Structure

Shareholders of Access Bank Plc yesterday approved a Holding company structure (Holdco) for the bank.

The shareholders at the court order meeting in Lagos noted that for the financial institution to become Access Holdco, it poise to bring expansion and growth in shareholders returns.

At the court order meeting, the shareholders gave approval to the company for the transfer of the 35,545,225,622 ordinary share of 50kobo each in the issued and paid-up share capital of the bank held by them to Access Holdco Plc.

Each shareholders of the Bank will receive one (1) ordinary share of 50 kobo each in the Holdco, which will be credited as fully paid, in exchange for every 1 ordinary share of 50kobo each held in the bank as at the terminal date.

The National President, Association for Advancement Rights Nigerian Shareholders, Dr Faruk Umar expressed excitement that the bank aims to diversify into a permissible business that is expected to boost profitability.

According to him: “I believe after converting into Holdco, the share price of Access will increase. We (shareholders) commend the foresight of the board for the acquisition so far and it has proven to be profitable to the bank. We are happy with the quality of directors and board. We believe with the Holdco structure, we are going to move forward.”

Speaking at the court order meeting with shareholders, the Chairman, Access Bank, Mrs. Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedara Awosika said the Holding structure is in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s regulation on the scope of banking activities and ancillary matters (regulation 3, 2010) that repealed the universal banking guidelines and limited the ability of banks to undertake non-banking business.

According to her: “Due to its oversight function, the Holdco structure will facilitate the business growth of the banking group and expansion of service into underpenetrated regions in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.”

She explained that the board considers the restructure to be the most appropriate approach to create greater strategic flexibility and diversification of the Group’s revenues.

She added that: “The restructure will result in shareholders holding shares in the Holdco in the same proportion as their current holdings in the Bank and the bank’s shares being held wholly the Holdco, which will be a regulated entity for CBN purposes.”

Responding to shareholders’ questions at the meeting, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Dr. Herbert Wigwe expressed that the bank’s operations in different countries required a different organizational structure to handle a lot of things.

He explained that Access bank needed to continuously evolve and create constraints that would ensure proper oversight over the subsidiaries.

“The institution is evolving into a larger and a different type of institution that tries to optimize and provide greater value to shareholders as it goes no to the next level,” he said.

He explained further that: “Even at Holdco level, despite the increased regulatory pressure from CBN, we do have a Holding company body that can basically interface with several of these regulators to make sure that our institution as it is going is well protected.”

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