Nigeria’s First Bank completes takeover of ICB Ghana, others

FirstBankThe First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) announced November 11, 2013 that it has completed the acquisition of the West African operations of the International Commercial Bank (ICB) in its Ghanaian unit.

The Nigerian-base lender said it now has 100% equity interest in ICB Ghana, ICB Sierra Leone, ICB Guinea and ICB Gambia which were previously owned by the ICB Financial Group Holdings (ICBFGN).

“The transaction has been effected through the completion of a Conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement with ICBFGH,” FBN said in statement.

The Bank of Ghana last month announced that FBN was set to acquire ICB, a transaction it approved.

In a statement, the central bank stated “by the terms of the approval, FBN is required to offload at least 40% of the shares to Ghanaians through private placement and/or the Ghana Stock Exchange, of which at least 25% should be offloaded by December 31, 2014 and the remainder not later than December 31, 2016.”

ICB has 28 branches in West Africa of which 17 are in Ghana, five in Guinea, four in Gambia and two in Sierra Leone.

The combined entity is expected to be incorporated into the international banking operations of First Bank, which are headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.

By Ekow Quandzie

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