Unity Bank says no investment of $1bn from Milost
Contrary to a Bloomberg’s report claiming that Milost Global Inc plans to invest $1bn in Unity Bank Plc, the Bank has unequivocally stated that it has not reached any agreement with Milost to warrant such speculation.
“We categorically dismiss media claims of any such deal and advice the public to disregard any information to the contrary,” a statement from the Bank signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, Matthew Obiazikwor said.
“The Bank hereby makes further clarifications regarding its on-going recapitalization programs to the effect that Unity Bank has not received commitment for investment of $1bn from Milost.”
Unity Bank is in talks with a number of potential investors and has not concluded to pave way for commitment of an investment, the statement said.
The Bank said it has set realistic milestones on the recapitalization program and will update the public on the progress from time to time.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that Milost offered to invest $700 million in equity and $300 million in five-year bonds that can be converted into shares in the Nigerian lender.
The private-equity firm was said to get an initial stake of about 30 percent in the Lagos-based bank in exchange for its first equity investment of $250 million.
Unity Bank closed trading at N1.31 per share on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday and has a market capitalisation of N15.31 billion.
This means the proposed 30 percent Unity Bank stake Milost intends to acquire for $250 million (N90 billion), values the entire company at N300 billion or N25.6 per share.
The proposed premium for Unity Bank on this particular deal by Milost is however 1,980 percent, according to BusinessDay calculations.
BusinessDay had earlier reported that the numbers do not add up for most of the deals announced by Milost.
An investment in Unity Bank will be Milost’s third announcement it is investing in a publicly traded Nigerian company since it said it will $350 million into oil-services company Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc in February and to provide a $250 million financing facility to Resort Savings & Loans Plc.
Net income at Unity Bank slid almost 54 percent to N2.18 billion ($6.1 million) in the 12 months through December 2016, with assets of N493 billion, according to the company’s latest annual report. Its NPLs stood at 48 percent in 2016, when it reported its second straight year of negative capital adequacy ratios, the report showed.
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