ADB clarifies position on uniBank ‘takeover’

ADB has confirmed that it indeed received letters from Belstar Capital Limited, EDC Limited and Starmount Investment Limited pledging their various shares in the Agricultural Development Bank Limited to Unibank.

A press release issued by the bank Wednesday stated that: “It is the opinion of ADB that, a pledge does not have the effect of the transfer of ownership. Thus, if the shareholders mentioned herein have pledged their shares together with any benefits or privileges attached thereto that will not have the effect of making Unibank a shareholder of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited or constitute a takeover of the Bank.”

The release also stated that for a takeover to occur, it must meet the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930).

“… a person shall not without the prior approval in writing of Bank of Ghana enter into an agreement or arrangement which will result in the change in control of a bank, specialised deposit-taking institutions or financial holding company”.

The Act continues that, for the purpose of share acquisition in financial institutions, the Bank of Ghana must be notified of share acquisitions of five, ten, thirty, fifty or seventy-five percent of equity thresholds.

The press release also quoted a statement made by the Governor of Bank of Ghana during the commissioning of the Ecobank Head office in Accra, on 7th March, 2018 in which he denounced as null and void the purported takeover of ADB.

The release also stated that the bank ADB is also in discussion with the Ghana Stock Exchange to restore trading on the Exchange after trading was suspended after the broke the news.

“We therefore wish to assure the Bank’s numerous customers and the general public that the shareholding of the Bank remains unchanged and customers’ accounts and investments are adequately protected. Customers are particularly advised to go about their normal transactions with the Bank,” the statement concluded.