The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday said it is still investigating the alleged one billion dollars investment in Unity Bank Plc by Milost Global Incorporated.
Mrs. Ebelo, SEC’s acting Head, Corporate Communications, said the investigation into the Unity Bank/Milost case by the commission was still on, and that anyone found wanting in the case would be sanctioned appropriately in line with laid down regulations.
Milost Global had in February announced plans to conclude its acquisition of a large Nigerian bank following talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
According to Bloomberg, Milost Global plans to invest $1 billion in Unity bank, $250 million was to have been invested immediately in the bank in exchange for a 30% equity stake. $750 million will then be invested over the next four years. The investment was also reported to be a mix of equity and convertible bonds.
Milost later released a statement terminating the planned $1 billion investment in the bank. The firm took the decision due to what it termed threat emails from an unnamed individual.
The Bank had insisted that there was no binding definitive agreement with Milost Global and that both parties were only engaged in a preliminary discussion.
Recall that Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc recently announced that it will pull out of the equity financing facility of $350 with Milost Global Inc citing some red flags associated with the planned equity injection
Tier two banks in the country have had to boost their capital adequacy ratios, Union Bank last year raised N50 billion through a rights issue and has signaled its intentions to raise a $250 million Eurobond this year. Diamond bank another tier two bank had to sell non-essential assets. FCMB has hinted at an upcoming bond raise.
Milost Global, founded by Mandla J Gwandiso in 2015 is an American Private Equity firm that is headquartered in New York City, with more than $25 billion in committed capital.
Following the consolidation of Nigerian banks in 2004, Unity bank was founded in 2006 from the merger of 9 commercial banks namely; Intercity Bank Plc, First Interstate Bank Plc, Tropical Commercial Bank Plc, Pacific Bank Limited, Centre Point Bank Plc, Societe Bancaire Limited, NNB International Bank Plc, Bank of the North Ltd and New Africa Bank Plc.
Its shares are currently trading at 1.02 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a one year return of 78.95%.