‘UBN didn’t execute binding definite pact with Milost’
Contrary to the allegations of $1 billion Milost Global Inc acquisition deal with Unity Bank Plc, the bank yesterday, debunked the Bloomberg claims outrightly, saying it did not execute any binding definitive agreement with the firm.
Both parties were embroiled in a controversy involving $1 billion acquisition deal allegedly invested into the bank by the New York based equity firm that would lead to its acquisition of 60 percent shareholding in the bank as well as delisting of Unity Bank from the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).
Explaining its stance on the acclaimed deal with firm in a statement made available to The Guardian, the bank stated categorically that it has not entered into a binding agreement for a $1 billion financing deal, that would lead to any acquisition or delisting from NSE
Milost Global, while announcing the termination of the deal had described the Unity Bank statement as false, confirming it had indeed entered into a binding agreement for a $1 billion financing deal, which would lead to its acquisition of 60 percent shareholding in the bank as well as delisting from the exchange.
However, the bank maintained that there is no iota of truth in the allegation that it had executed a ‘binding commitment agreement’ with the firm, rather, its position is on the premise that a document prepared by Milost and which the bank acknowledged merely contained the suggested terms and conditions on which Milost was planning to consider its possible participation in the capital funding of the bank.
The statement reads: “As stated in our previous correspondence, the Bank through the mandate of its Board and shareholders has been involved in series of preliminary engagements with several prospective investors including Milost, but the bank did not execute a binding definitive agreement with Milost Global Inc.
“It is therefore a misnomer for any one to claim that the Bank issued a false statement relative to the nature of the communication between Milost and the Bank. The nomenclature ‘Commitment Letter’ was apparently adopted by Milost in its communication to buttress its seriousness to proceed with the transactions subject to relevant compliance requirements.”
Furthermore, the bank stated that considering that the two parties were only still engaged in preliminary discussions, which must necessarily be subjected to relevant regulatory, statutory and corporate governance compliance parameters before such discussions could become elevated to the level of a binding commitment agreement, the issue of termination of the transaction does not arise.
Referring to the ‘Term Sheet’ dated September 4, 2017 which was said to have been executed, the bank explained that it was a mere proposal submitted by Milost Global Inc. for discussion purposes only and not a commitment by the parties.
“Courtesy visits were exchanged between representatives of Milost and the bank in 2017and early 2018. The bank’s Managing Director/CEO was in NewYork in October 2017 for other engagements and decided to visit Milost and verify the firm’s address as well as put a face to the officers of Milost that have been engaging the Bank via telephone and emails.“A brief meeting was held and discussions were around the dynamics of Milost proposal to Unity Bank Plc, and socialization of the policies and regulations around equity investment in Nigeria. The Bank did not at any time suggest or agree to move its listing from the NSE to the USA as falsely reported in the media.”
The bank added that it is fully aware of all regulatory steps and requirements on such investment proposition and the imperative to comply with them, and will continue to engage all stakeholders on achievements made in this regard.
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