Atlas Mara Limited has denied received offers from any bank to acquire the company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. In a statement, the company said it was responding to erroneous media reports that it has received offers for such transaction. As at April 30, 2019, Atlas Mara has a 49.7 percent stake in Union Bank — its largest asset. Access Bank, Nigeria’s biggest bank by customer base, is reportedly interested in acquiring Atlas Mara’s businesses in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, fueling speculations that Access Bank may be interested in acquiring its (Atlas Mara) assets in Nigeria.
“While it is the Company’s practice to refrain from comment on market rumours or speculation, we believe it is important to note that Atlas Mara has not received any offers from any local Nigerian bank or other bank wishing to acquire the Company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria (“UBN”),” the statement read. “As previously announced to the market in 2019, the Board of the Company has been exploring a wide range of strategic options with the assistance of external advisers.
That process is still underway and the Company’s strategic objectives have not changed.” Union Bank, in a statement issued on Wednesday by Somuyiwa Sonubi, the company secretary, corroborated Atlas Mara’s statement. The bank said reports of the stake sale is based on “mere rumours and speculations.”