Topnaija.ng can confirm that, Diamond Bank Plc has appointed Mr Dele Babade as its new acting chairman.
Babade succeeded Mr Oluseyi Bickersteth, who recently resigned as a director and chairman of the bank.
In a statement signed by Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Diamond Bank Plc, Uzoma Uja, the bank indicated that Babade’s appointment took effect on December 24, 2018.
The new acting chairman was first nominated by First Carlyle Growth V (Carlyle) and his appointment as a non-executive director was approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with effect from April 20, 2017. Carlyle is one of the major shareholders in the bank.
Babade is expected to oversee the business combination between Access bank and Diamond Bank Plc. The transaction is projected to be completed in the first half of 2019 and will see Access Bank as the post-merger bank.
The Memorandum of Agreement and announcement of headline terms valued Diamond Bank at approximately NGN72.5 billion, about $200 million. The business combination will see Diamond Bank shareholders receiving N3.13 per share in cash and shares. Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration comprising of N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.
The business combination is expected to form a leading Tier 1 Nigerian bank and the largest bank in Africa by number of customers, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 29 million clients. It will brings together treasury, risk management and corporate banking expertise with strong retail and digital banking capabilities to create a financial institution operating across the full suite of products for all customer segments.
Access Bank plans to leverage the best talent of both banks and combine them to create a leading banking franchise in Nigeria. The combined bank will be led by Access Bank’s current CEO, Herbert Wigwe, and will retain the Access Bank name. It is intended that the brand will be redesigned to include strong elements of Diamond Bank’s digital and retail brand.
Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr Uzoma Dozie, said the merger was positive for all of Diamond Bank stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders.
According to him, Diamond Bank’s customers will benefit significantly through the unrivalled combination of the best of Diamond Bank’s retail and digital leadership with the size of Access Bank’s balance sheet, corporate names and geographical reach.
“In reaching this decision, the shared passion for leveraging Nigeria’s youthful and entrepreneurial talent and a commitment to better outcomes through financial inclusion have convinced us that this is the right combination. I believe that the combination of two strong and admired brands, with shared values and complementary strengths, will be a strong force for positive change in the Nigerian and African retail landscape. As a result, this merger creates significant potential for sustainable long-term growth which stands to benefit customers, employees and shareholders alike,” Dozie said.
Babade holds Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Laws from University of London and was called to both the Nigerian and English Bar.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Africa Risk Capacity Pan African Insurance Company (ARC Ltd) and is also the Chairman of its Finance and Investment Committee. ARC Ltd is a financial affiliate of the African Risk Capacity, a specialised agency of the African Union (AU), an initiative designed to improve current responses to climate-related food security emergencies.