SGBN to Return with N37bn Capital
By Emele Onu, 06.07.2010
Societe Generale Bank Nigeria (SGBN) plans to return to operations before the end of this year, with N37 billion fresh capital injection.
It was gathered at the weekend that the Nigerian company, North Eastern Capital (NEC), which d the bank from its former owners, and its foreign partners, SPOT V.I Holding of Italy are fully set to recapitalize the bank and return it to the market.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had in 2008 voided the revocation of the bank's operational licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in 2005.
Sources close to the promoters of the bank said SPOT has arranged to invest about $250million (about N37.5 billion) in a mix of equity and redeemable/convertible debt. Francesco Piconi, the President and Managing Director of SPOT V.I Holding who was in Nigeria was said to have signed the agreement while the Managing Director of NEC, Mr. Chukwuma Nwachukwu, signed for the new SGBN.
SPOT Holding is a company registered in Italy with head office in Rome. It is a holding company with interest in radio and television stations. The company reportedly owns five television stations among others.
The Italian company through its subsidiary, Golden Coal Limited is at present funding many projects in Nigeria including the seven star Marriots in Abuja, the Twin Tower also in Abuja, three container carrying vessels and an FPSO (floating petroleum storing vessel).
It was gathered that NEC and SGBN signed a agreement in August 2008. The agreement was that NEC would recapitalize the bank and allot 20 per cent of the new bank to existing shareholders which include customers whose deposits were converted to shares or equity as part of the restructuring.
Between 2008 and now, NEC said there has been an on-going restructuring of the bank resulting in the conversion of deposits into equity; obtaining of debt forbearances from the CBN as well as verification and tagging of deposits and depositors carried out by KPMG.
A source which confirmed the imminent return of SGBN to the market at the weekend said: “The process of capital inflow will commence at the end of June 2010. The inflow process is expected to be concluded within three months. The Central Bank of Nigeria’s verification process should take about two week; so in all everything should be concluded within three months while CBN should take one month”.
The new SGBN Board, according to the source is likely to be led by Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (Rtd.) as chairman and Chukwuma Nwachukwu (not a relation of the Chairman) as Managing Director. Ike Nwachukwu held the position of military governor of Imo State; minister for employment, labour and productivity. He also served two terms as minister of foreign affairs, from 1987 to 1989, and again from 1990 to 1993.
Chukwuma Nwachukwu, who is the Managing Director of NEC, is an experienced banker. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Masters of Finance from the University of Calabar. With advanced education and managerial competences; and experiences of over 18 years in all areas of accountancy, banking and financial services, Chukwuma Nwachukwu was a General Manager at both Equitorial Trust Bank Limited and the defunct Devcom Bank - General Manager.