A look back at Fridays trading reveals about N26,534,670,000 in value and 3.57billion shares of Union Bank Plc exchanged hands. This is a huge value considering the that Union Bank has a market cap of about N121.2billion. Reports from some national dallies suggest Amcon had basically sold of 21.9% equity stake in the company.
Whilst there has been no official comment from AMCON as to who bought the take, in the past Atlas Mara an invest vehicle spearheaded by former Barclays Bank CEO Bob Diamond, had in the past purchased shares of Union Bank from AMCON. It bought a 30% stake back in September for $270m and said they were going to acquire another 21% stake. This therefore suggest they are the ones who bought those shares.
At the time it bought the shares in September Union Bank traded above N8 and the Interbank Exchange rate was still N165. This deal must obviously had come at a market induced discount for Atlas Mara as they could have saved about $50m by our estimates. Union Bank shares is currently trading at N7.4 and is down 13% in the last one year. Its one year low and high are N6.48 and N10.89 respectively.