- The managing Director of Polaris Bank, Adekunle Sonola, has asked the staff to disregard a media report on the bank’s ownership
- In a company-wide email to the staff of the bank, the bank boss asked the team to focus on building a solid brand
- He debunked claims that the bank refused to disclose the actual ownership of 45% equity in the bank
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank, Adekunle Sonola, has emailed the staff concerning a media report on the bank’s ownership.
Bank refutes allegations of obstructed sale
The report said that SCIL paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to purchase 100% equity in the bank.
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As part of the deal, the company also agreed to the terms of the arrangement, which included the full repayment of N1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected into the bank.
TheCable reports that on Thursday, June 1, 2023, a report by Premium Times indicted the bank of breaching the Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 2020 by refusing to disclose the complete details of the bank’s 45% ownership in its documentation to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Company's email details real owners of the bank
According to the report, Michel Danladi Verheijen and Ehimari, venture capitalists, and Albert Chukwuemeka Emuwa, a banker, hold the 45% stake via layers of offshore entities.
TheCable reported that the bank revealed in an email to the staff, sent by its managing director, asking them to focus their energies on building an enduring brand as it has passed the sale process.
The bank’s CEO referred to the joint statement of October 20, 2022, issued by the CBN and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which announced the sale of 100% equity in Polaris Bank to SCIL.
Also, the CEO allegedly referred to another statement by CBN on January 4, 2023, in which it provided enough details of the process by which the sale was conducted.
The CEO said:
“These publications are still in the public domain and continue to be reference points where further inquiries are needed,” Sonola said.
“Contrary to claims… the divestment from Polaris Bank was supervised by a Divestment Committee (the Committee) comprising senior representatives of AMCON and CBN and supported by reputable legal and financial advisers. In addition, the divestment mode, process, and decision received requisite board and regulatory approvals.
“We reiterate that the divestment from Polaris Bank was in compliance with a well-defined and appropriately implemented institutional framework as required by the necessary regulatory provisions guiding such divestments.
“In addition, the process was coordinated using known reputable legal and financial advisers in Nigeria and approved by the respective leaderships/boards of the two institutions.
“Please be assured that our bank has since progressed beyond the sale process, as the relevant facts surrounding the acquisition and the transparency that preceded the sale have always been in the public domain.
“We encourage you to remain undistracted by the story and focus your energies as you have done in recent months on building an enduring brand anchored on excellent service and exceptional customer experience.”
CBN defends sale of Polaris Bank to IBB's son-in-law, Anwul, after accusation of favouritism
Legit.ng reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had denied any wrongdoing in the recent sale of Polaris Bank.
It also described claims that a higher offer was made during the bidding process to buy the Bank as spurious, malicious, and misleading.
The apex bank stated this in a press release by its Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.