Titan Trust Bank Limited, which barely three years ago won the central bank’s permit to run within Nigeria, is acquiring 89.4 per cent stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
“Completion of the transaction is subject to obtaining applicable regulatory approvals and the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent,” Union Bank told Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in a note on Thursday.
The transaction will soften the ground for Titan Trust to hold the largest equity stake by a single investor in any of the country’s publicly quoted banks.
That implies only a limited portion of Union Bank’s shares will be readily available in the open market when the deal is delivered except a corporate resolution to sell down parts of the newly bought interest happens.
Shares in Union Bank gained 9.78 per cent in Lagos following the news, the biggest price increase by any stock of the 157 equities listed on the NGX.
Titan Trust has been operating in obscurity since inception, with a few branches, recording N2.9 billion in after-tax profit for 2020 compared to Union Bank’s N18.8 billion and an asset value of N136.3 billion, relative to the latter’s N2.2 trillion.
But the lender has positioned itself as a challenger with a heart for big things, making its takeover of better-known Union Bank obviously the biggest upset in Nigeria’s M&A scene so far in 2021 and potentially for the whole of the year.
Titan Trust Bank has an alliance with Citibank, headquartered in New York, which serves it as a correspondent bank.
To reflect the fresh change and for branding purposes, another name for Union Bank will most likely be adopted when the acquisition is perfected. Union Bank launched as Nigeria’s second oldest bank in 1917 when London-based Barclays Bank opened shop in Lagos.