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Monday, May 16, 2022

Shareholders approve Access Bank transition to Holding company

Shareholders of Access Bank Plc on Thursday approved the  transition of the commercial banking group to a holding company (holdco), Access Holdings Plc at a court ordered meeting in Lagos.

The new structure will enable the group to invest in non-banking subsidiaries, a move that places the first tier bank in a pillar position to expand into a global one-stop financial services group.

At the combined physical and virtual court-ordered meeting at the bank’s head office in Lagos; with livestream to the global audience of shareholders and other stakeholders, shareholders approved the scheme document for the conversion to holdco.

Shareholders had earlier approved the idea and conversion process while the bank had also secured the crucial “no-objection” approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), leading to the order of the Federal High Court for Thursday’s meeting of the shareholders for the approval of the scheme of arrangement for the conversion.

Under the transition arrangement, the entire issued share capital of Access Bank comprising of 35.545 billion ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each will be converted into same shares of holdco and distribute to all shareholders of Access Bank on the basis of one share of Access Bank in exchange for one share of the new Access Holdings Plc.

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Thereafter, Access Bank Plc will be delisted and Access Holdings Pl will be listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).

The holdco is however expected to make new major investment moves in the next few months, according to insiders with knowledge of board and management strategies.

Chairman of Access Bank Plc, Ajoritsedere Awosika said the restructuring of the banking group into a holdco will enable the group to have a structure like that of some major global financial institutions, including those that Access Bank considers to be its peers and competitors.

According to her, the board expects that the restructured group will have greater flexibility to adapt to future business opportunities, market and regulatory changes than is currently the case.

She outlined that the restructuring was necessitated by several rationales including the need to comply with regulatory requirements, growth and expansion, diversification, risk management, ease of funding, capital allocation, and speed of decision making.
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