HomeBusiness And MoneyLemo opens up on Union Bank acquisition by Titan Trust Bank

Lemo opens up on Union Bank acquisition by Titan Trust Bank

The Chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Mr Tunde Lemo has made further clarifications on the year-end acquisition of the 104-year-old Union Bank by the two-year-old Titan Trust Bank.

Recall that Titan Trust Bank Limited of which he is the chairman last week acquired 89.4 percent state in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc fueling speculations that he owned the 3-year old bank, and by extension, the new owner of Union Bank.

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.

Union Bank Plc announced during the week that its core shareholders had reached a deal that will see their shares acquired by 2-year old Titan Bank.

The deal will see existing core investors in Union Bank, Union Global Partners Ltd (64.98 percent), Atlas Mara (25.53 percent) and other shareholders divest their core holdings totaling 89.39 percent in Union Bank to Titan Trust Bank.

Findings by Blueprint shows that Titan Trust Bank has 7 directors namely Mr. Tunde Lemo (Chairman), Mr, Mudassir Amray (MD/CEO). Mr. Andy Ojei (Non-Executive Director), Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed (Independent non-Executive Director), Mr. Mackombo Chukwudi Lawrence Omoile (Independent non-Executive Director), and Dr. Adaeze Udensi (Executive Director).

Its Management team comprises Mr. Amray, Dr. Udensi, Mr. Ademola Ajayi (Head of Compliance). Stella Nwihim (Head of Human Resources), Mr. Mark Oguh (Chief Financial Officer). Chineyeoke Uga (Chief Risk Officer) and Uche Ugboh (Treasurer).

Dr. Adaeze for those who remember is a veteran of Zenith Bank Plc and also an executive director at Heritage Bank.

However, in a statement on Christmas Day, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said he is just a nominal shareholder of Titan Trust, but was made Board Chairman to provide leadership given his pedigree.

According to him, Titan Trust Bank is 85 percent owned by Vinc Corporation- a foreign company while the remaining shares are owned by local shareholding.

“My shareholding is therefore very tiny and insignificant. I am only providing leadership”.

“Titan trust Bank is owned by the TGI’s parent company, Vinc Corporation which is a conglomerate of 24 companies, out of which Chi Limited that was recently sold to Coca Cola for $1bn, is the most popular. They are in almost every sector of the economy from Agric to Pharmaceuticals, FMCG to Trading and others.

Titan, which started operations late 2018, was their first foray into the financial services sector. They have the ambition of becoming a tier 1 bank within a maximum of 7 years and therefore were always going to pursue inorganic growth.

He said the desire of the Private Equity Companies that owned UBN to sell matched their appetite and intention hence the deal.

The bank currently has two bank branches and styles itself as a digital bank, a common focus for newer banks looking to challenge the more established commercial banks.

The company has customer deposits of about N85.9 billion and loans and advances of about N38.7 billion. It’s Net Assets as of 2020 is N32.9 billion.

Industry analysts believe that this is probably the first deal within the banking industry that is arising out of such alignment of objectives rather than out of a need to rescue the target bank.

To achieve Tier One growth in seven years, Titan will have to buy First Bank, and perhaps another Tier Two Bank like Fidelity Bank.

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