Heritage Bank joins merger talks between GN and Premium

BY: Daily Graphic
Heritage merge with GN and Premium
Heritage merge with GN and Premium

Heritage Bank has joined the merger talks between GN Bank and Premium Bank.

The three banks have consequently informed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) of their intent, Daily Graphic has learnt.

The deal forms part of moves to meet the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million by December this year.

A similar conversation initiated between GN, Premium and Sahel Sahara was abandoned by Sahel Sahara in July over a misunderstanding at a time the deal was almost concluded.

Sahel Sahara exited the merger deal into the waiting arms of Omni Bank, which also specialises in servicing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Omni and Sahel agreed to consolidate their operations into one entity in the merger deal but their stated capital of about GH¢213 million is still below the central bank’s new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million.

The move by Heritage, Premium and GN follows months of back and forth movements on the need for local banks to consolidate.

Past deals

Since 2010, about six merger and acquisition deals have occurred in the banking sector, with the most recent one being the Sahel Sahara and Omni Bank deal that has the blessing of the central bank.

Before the Sahel Sahara-Omni merger, HFC Bank had been taken over by the Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Before that, the following acquisitions had taken place: Bank of Africa and Amalgamated Bank, Ecobank Ghana and The Trust Bank (TTB), Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and International Commercial Bank, and Fortis and Merchant Bank which gave birth to today’s Universal Merchant Bank (UMB).