The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has approved the acquisition of Ghana's International Commercial Bank (ICB) by Nigeria’s First Bank (FBN).
According to a statement from the central bank and copied to Citi Business News, ICB Financial Group Holdings AG has decided to sell its holdings in International Commercial Bank, Ghana Limited (ICB) to First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), which has been approved by the Bank of Ghana.
It will be recalled Citi Business News in April this year reported of the acquisition of International Commercial Bank, Ghana Limited (ICB) by First Bank of Nigeria (FBN).
Citi Business News has gathered by the terms of the approval, First Bank of Nigeria is required to offload at least forty percent (40%) of the shares to Ghanaians through private placement and/or the Ghana Stock Exchange.
Of this at least 25% should be offloaded by 31st December, 2014 and the remainder not later than 31st December, 2016.
The acquisition will also see First Bank of Nigeria take subsidiaries of ICB Financial Group Holdings AG in The Gambia, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra-Leone.
It however still remains unclear when the bank’s branding will be changed to that of First Bank.
International Commercial Bank Ghana is part of a Group which comprises a network of twelve banks spread through three continents; Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
It commenced operations in Ghana in 1996.
The bank’s business focus is on the provision of financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises within the economy.
Its acquisition by First bank is expected to lead to the birth of one of the biggest SME’s banks in the country.
First Bank was rated the most valuable Nigerian bank two years ago as well as the best retail bank last year.
In 2012, the Brand Finance Banking League tables rated it in the top 500 most valuable banking brands worldwide.