BusinessDay

Titan Trust plans to join tier-1 banks league in years, says Lemo

Tunde Lemo, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Chairman of Titan Trust Bank has said that 3-year old Titan Trust Bank acquired the majority stake of the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN) in order to accelerate its mission of becoming Nigeria’s Tier-1 Bank within 7 years of its operations in the country.

The Abeokuta-born Tunde Lemo said at the weekend on the Penpushing Media Platform that the acquisition deal was made possible by a Dutch Vinc Corporation which is the Parent Company of Tropical General Investments (TGI) contrary to some media reports that he controls the majority shareholding in the acquisition deal, saying he provides leadership and has a tiny and insignificant shareholding.

Recall that the Board of the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN) had notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that its investors – Union Global Partners Limited, Atlas Mara Limited and other stakeholders had reached an agreement with Titan Trust Bank Limited to divest their shareholding – 89.39% of UBN’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank Limited.

Speaking on the acquisition deal, Lemo noted that the aggressive ambition of the Bank to join the League of Nigeria’s Tier 1 Banks such as Zenith Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC, GTBank PLC, First Bank PLC and United Bank for Africa PLC in terms of the value of the loans lent to borrowers and customers’ deposits prompted the interest of Vinc Corporation and Titan Trust Bank to acquire 104-year old Union Bank of Nigeria.

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He said, “Thank you very much for your messages of felicitation and congratulations on the proposed acquisition of UBN by my bank – Titan Trust Bank.

“I however need to make more clarifications on the ownership structure of Titan. The Bank is 85% owned by Vinc Corporation – a foreign company. The local shareholders own the balance and shareholding is dispersed. My shareholding is therefore very tiny and insignificant. I am only providing leadership. Thank you once again and God bless.”

While giving the background information on the acquisition deal initiated by Titan Trust Bank, Lemo added, “Titan trust Bank is owned by the TGI’s parent company, Vinc Corporation which is a conglomerate of 24 companies, out of which Chi Limited that was recently sold to Coca Cola for $1bn, is the most popular.

“They are in almost every sector of the economy from Agric to Pharma, FMCG to Trading etc!

“Titan, which started operations late 2018, was their first foray into the financial services sector. They have the ambition of becoming a tier 1 bank within a maximum of 7 years and therefore were always going to pursue inorganic growth.

“The desire of the Private Equity Companies that owned UBN to sell matched their appetite and intention hence the deal.

“This is probably the first deal within the banking industry that is arising out of such alignment of objectives rather than out of a need to rescue the target bank.

“What they will do with the brand remains to be seen.”

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