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Amidst storm, Diamond Bank appoints Acting-chairman

Diamond Bank Plc has made a crucial appointment of acting Chairman amidst the storm of acquisition ongoing which will span till the end of first quarter of 2019. To ensure smooth transition between the two banks, Mr. Dele Babade, has been appointed as the acting chairman. He succeeds Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth, who recently resigned as a director and chairman of the bank.
In a statement signed by the bank’s Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Uzoma Uja, the bank indicated that Babade’s appointment took effect on December 24, 2018.
The 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’s mandate is to oversee the business combination between Access bank and Diamond Bank Plc. The transaction is projected to be completed in the first half of next year and will see Access Bank as the post-merger bank.
Last month, Bickersteth and three non-executive directors resigned their positions. The development, analysts and banking sources said, was to pave the way for new capital injections and the new investors to have more feelings about the banking operations.
Diamond Bank is merging with Access Bank, in a move that pointed towards outright acquisition by Nigeria’s tier-I bank. The deal projected to be completed in the first half of 2019 will see Access bank as Nigeria’s largest financial installation.
Carlyle, the United States (U.S.) private equity firm declined comment when Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa contacted the group on the Access-Diamond Bank deal.
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.
The bank’s 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.
Who is Dele Babade?
Babade holds Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Laws from University of London and was called to both the Nigerian and English Bar.
He started his career with Midland Montagu London (the predecessor of HSBC Investment Bank) on the Graduate Training Programme in 1988 and at various times worked in the UK and Greece mainly in Corporate and Merchant Banking.
He joined Citibank in 1993 and garnered experience from Citibank’s Emerging Markets business focusing on businesses beyond Africa and became Vice President in charge of all cross border/international deals for Africa in 1996.
In 1998, he joined Nomura International in London as a Director for Investment Banking for Africa.
After re-joining Citibank in 2000, he was moved to Nigeria and Ivory Coast in 2001 as Executive Director covering Nigeria and West Africa and was a board member of Citibank Nigeria from 2001 to 2006.
He also served as Citibank’s Director & Regional Head Sub-Sahara Africa Corporate Finance & Investment Banking based in South Africa from 2002 to 2006.
He started his own investment advisory firm in 2007 but left briefly to join Ecobank Transnational Inc as Head of Ecobank Capital from 2010 to 2012 and was also a member of the Group Executive Committee, the top executive body for overall direction of the Ecobank Group. Since 2012, he has been running his firm focusing on inward cross border transactions across the African continent.
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.

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