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Nigeria’s Amcon to Own Ecobank Stake After Oceanic Purchase

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria will own about 14 percent of Lome, Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. after its acquisition of Oceanic Bank International Plc, Ecobank said.

“Oceanic shareholders including Amcon will own 25 percent of Ecobank after the conversion of preference shares,” David Ellis, a spokesman for Ecobank, said today in e-mailed response to questions. “It will take up to three years to fully integrate the two banks.”

Before the conversion of preference shares, “Oceanic shareholders and Amcon will hold 20.1 percent of the ordinary shares of Ecobank, with 69.9 percent of that belonging to Amcon,” Ellis said.

Ecobank agreed on July 30 to acquire and recapitalize Oceanic Bank, which was bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2009 amid a lending crisis. That was part of a $4 billion rescue that involved the creation of Amcon to buy nonperforming loans, enabling banks to rebuild their balance sheets and resume lending. Oceanic was among eight lenders whose chief executives were fired by Nigerian authorities.

The central bank gave lenders until Sept. 30 to recapitalize or face liquidation or nationalization.

Following the acquisition of Oceanic, “Ecobank will take over all its subsidiaries and will take a decision which subsidiary will be sold and which will be integrated into Ecobank,” Ellis said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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