Home » Emeka Okonkwo now among Union Bank’s biggest shareholders following acquisition of 2.4 million shares

Emeka Okonkwo now among Union Bank’s biggest shareholders following acquisition of 2.4 million shares

by Omokolade Ajayi

Nigerian banker and corporate executive Emeka Okonkwo has acquired 2.4 million additional shares in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Okonkwo is the company’s CEO.

Information on the acquisition revealed that the Nigerian banker splashed about N11.9 million ($29,000) to acquire an additional 2.4 million shares in the bank at a price of N4.90 ($0.013) per share. This puts his total holdings in the bank at 8,094,748 shares, making him one of the company’s leading shareholders.

As of the close of trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX)* on 10 May, his shares in Union bank were worth N44.5 million ($108,270).

News of the acquisition followed earlier reports by Bloomberg that London-based Atlas Mara Ltd. had received a number of offers for its 49.97-percent holding in Union Bank. 

Bloomberg reported that Zenith Bank Plc. and Access Bank Plc. are among the potential buyers that have expressed an interest in acquiring the sixth-biggest bank in Nigeria.

Access Bank’s close relationship with Atlas Mara had put it in a position to acquire the Union Bank shares. This is because, in recent years, it completed several deals across the continent with the investment bank.

Background on Atlas Mara

Atlas Mara is a London-based investment banking group founded by Bob Diamond in 2013 to undertake key acquisitions in targeted banks in Africa. Currently, the investor is facing pressure to sell off his stakes in the Africa market after suffering huge losses. 

Experts have linked the company’s downward trend to its failure to properly assess competition, coupled with other economic factors such as global oil price cuts and the COVID-19 pandemic, which made most African economies highly volatile.

*NGX: The Nigerian Stock Exchange changed its identity to the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) Plc on April  13, with the launch of its new corporate identity and website.

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