GN Premium Sahara Merger

Is it all about Merging ; Premium, Sahel, GN Bank to merge: How feasible?

Merger” means the fusion of two or more Regulated financial institutions licensed or regulated under Act 930

It has been gathered that the three local banks Premium, GN and Sahel Sahara banks have agreed to merge. This development follows the Bank of Ghana’s directive for all banks to meet the minimum capital requirement of 400 million cedis this year (2018), starting from July 1, 2018 however; banks will be expected to start full compliance by January 1, 2019.

 

It is expected that some of the workers will be laid off as the new entity tries to avoid duplication of roles.

Premium bank

Premium bank prior to gaining banking status was a Finance house, under the name City Investments Company Limited.

It got the regulatory approval from the central bank to operate as a bank in the second quarter of 2016 and begun operations as a bank proper in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Its majority shareholder is the Vanguard group.

According to the bank’s financial statement for December 2017 its profit before tax was a little over 12 million cedis, while its profit for the period was almost 12 million cedis. The bank’s assets sum up to about 1.3 billion cedis while it liabilities sum up to about 1.2 billion cedis for the period. The bank is headed by Mr. Kwasi Tumi a Chartered Accountant.

Sahel Sahara

Sahel Sahara is a subsidiary of the Group, BSIC (Ghana) Limited.

Sahel commenced operations in Ghana as a universal bank, on March 25, 2008. The Bank currently has 17 branches in 6 regions.

Its parent company BSIC is a financial institution created by the community of the Sahel Sahara States, otherwise known as (CEN-SAD).

CEN-SAD is made up of 28 countries including; Libya, Sudan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo where BSIC currently has affiliates.

The bank’s profit before tax for December 2017 was about 7.8 million cedis a drop from the 10.3 million cedis recorded the year before.

GN Bank

GN Bank was incorporated on May 30, 1997.  Their goal is to provide unparalleled excellence in service anytime, anyplace and anywhere.
The bank offers a wide range of innovative financial products including employee loans, checking and savings accounts, consumer and residential loan products.

GN bank is owned by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom a business man and politician.

The bank’s CEO is Mr. Issah Adam.

The bank has over 298 branches across the country.

Why Merge

The move is to enable them to meet the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million by December this year.
Although the two banks, GN and Premium, are indigenous, Sahel Sahara is foreign-owned, with its headquarters in Libya.

It is expected that the deal, which is currently being reviewed by the central bank, is one of a few in the industry, ahead of the December 2018 recapitalisation deadline.
According to a source, discussions on a merger among the three lenders started earlier this year but had virtually been concluded after all of them agreed in principle to the terms of a merger deal.

This will be the first major merger between local banks after the introduction of the BoG requirement if approved by the central bank.

Past deals

Since 2010, about six merger and acquisition deals have occurred in the banking sector, with the most recent one being the takeover of the HFC Bank by the Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Before that, the following acquisitions had taken place: Bank of Africa and Amalgamated Bank, Ecobank Ghana and The Trust Bank (TTB), Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and International Commercial Bank, and Fortis and Merchant Bank which gave birth to today’s Universal Merchant Bank (UMB).

Currently

The deal is before the Bank of Ghana (BoG) pending the central bank’s perusal and approval.

The transaction was led by Gold Coast Fund Management, a subsidiary of the Groupe Nduom, owned by business magnate and politician,

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, and his wife, Mrs Yvonne Nduom.

Although Chief Executive Officer of GN Bank, Issah Adam in May this year said that the bank was on track to meet the deadline for the Bank of Ghana’s new minimum capital requirement as its shareholders had been able to raise more  than they had projected in the first quarter of the year.He said even though the bank’s shareholders pledged to raise in ¢56 million in the first quarter of the year they raised ¢60million.

It has become necessary at this time for taking up this merger to meet the Bank Of Ghana requirement

Will it be successful ?

From previous merging developments, they have proven successful. Therefore if necessary arrangement is done it will go a long way to strengthen and broaden their competitiveness when one look at the cake each party is putting on the table. I believe it  is a good move but challenging  one and therefore the banks together with Central bank should put strategies in place to make it work.

 

Source: Ebenezer Nkum / Business.com.gh