There are indications that Unity Bank Plc may be close to signing a deal to finally have a foreign investor ownership, nearly one year after a failed attempt in that direction.
Managing Director of the bank, Mrs Oluwatomi Somefun, who dropped this hint yesterday in a chat with the media, however, declined to name the investor.
Recall that sometime early this year Milost Global Incorporated, a New York based private equity firm and Unity Bank got embroiled in shares acquisition controversy which eventually marred the process. Milos Global wanted to acquire majority share in the bank with a total investment of USD1.0 billion. Earlier in 2016, a labour group, Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Nigeria was also said to have made moves to acquire majority stake in the bank but the move failed. But speaking to some journalists yesterday, Somefun said this latest move would certainly scale through, adding that regulatory authorities are carried along.
She stated: ‘‘This time around it is very clear, credible strong institution. One of the parties is the second largest infrastructure financing institutions in Asia. ‘‘They are not ordinary investors throwing money at us. They are strategic investors, bringing business adding value. ‘‘They are not just looking at Unity bank as investment opportunity, but they are already in the similar business’’. She also revealed that even though the deal is nearing conclusion stage the bank was still being pressured by some other investors to be considered, and have taken their case to the Central Bank of Nigeria