Strategic Capital Investment Limited takes over Polaris Bank
By Kayode Ogunwale
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) have announced completion of sale of shares in Polaris Bank to Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), as new core investor.
According to apex banking regulator, Strategic Capital Investment Limited has acquired 100 percent of the equity in Polaris Bank.
Polaris has been operating as a bridge bank since 2018 when the Central Bank of Nigeria intervened to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc and established Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities.
“As part of the CBN intervention, consideration bonds with a face value of (future value of N1.305 and N898 billion trillion) was injected into the bridge bank through AMCON, to be repaid over a 25 year period. These actions were taken to prevent the imminent collapse of the bank, enable its stabilisation and recovery, protect depositors’ fund, prevent job losses and stability.”
CBN further said, SCIL has paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion reserve systemic financial to acquire 100 percent of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement which include the full repayment of the sum of N 1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.
The CBN thus received an immediate return for the value it has created in Polaris Bank during the stabilisation period, as well as ensuring that all funds originally provided to support the intervention are recovered. The sale was coordinated by a Divestment Committee comprising representatives of the CBN and AMCON, and advised by legal and financial consultants.
“The Committee conducted a sale process by ‘private treaty’, as provided in Section 34(5) of the AMCON Act to avoid negative speculations, retain value and preserve financial system stability. In the process, parties who had formally expressed an interest in acquiring Polaris Bank, subsequent to the CBN intervention in 2018, were invited to submit financial and technical proposals. Invitations to submit proposals were sent to 25 pre qualified interested parties, out of which three parties eventually”, CBN said.