Union Bank a Tier-two lender has denied reports that it has received a buyout offer for a 50 percent stake owned by its major shareholder Atlas Mara.
“Our attention has been drawn to an online publication by Premium Times dated 23rd January 2021, captioned “Union Bank’s Principal Owner considering sale of 50% stake”. Please note that the unsubstantiated report is based on mere rumors and speculations,” Union Bank said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange, other regulatory agencies and members of the public are hereby advised to disregard the publication in its entirety.”
Union Bank shares closed down 3.39 percent today on below average volume.
Atlas Mara Limited, a sub-Saharan African financial services group, also issued a statement this week in response to what is said were media reports “incorrectly stating that Atlas Mara has received offers from local banks wishing to buy over Union Bank.”
“While it is the Company’s practice to refrain from comment on market rumours or speculation, we believe it is important to note that Atlas Mara has not received any offers from any local Nigerian bank or other bank wishing to acquire the Company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria (“UBN”). As previously announced to the market in 2019, the Board of the Company has been exploring a wide range of strategic options with the assistance of external advisers. That process is still underway and the Company’s strategic objectives have not changed,” Atlas Mara said.
Speculation has been rife for a while that Atlas Mara’s Nigerian assets are up for sale.