Nigeria's AMCON seeks bids for Enterprise Bank sale

LAGOS, Sept 2 Mon Sep 2, 2013 10:48am EDT

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LAGOS, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) said on Monday it was seeking prospective investors to buy 100 percent of its shareholding in Enterprise Bank, the first of Nigeria's three nationalised lenders to be put up for sale.

"Bad bank" AMCON, which holds non-performing assets of troubled banks, in July appointed Citigroup and Africa-focused investment bank Vetiva Capital to manage the divestment.

AMCON said in a public notice that prospective buyers will be required to submit their bids by Sept. 20, and show evidence of financing capacity.

The central bank rescued nine lenders in a $4 billion bailout in 2009, after reckless lending and lax governance left them undercapitalised. The regulator told them to find new investors before a deadline or face nationalisation. Only six of them met the deadline.

The others, Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB, were nationalised in 2011. AMCON then recapitalised them and changed their names to Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank, respectively.

Based on Enterprise Bank's 2012 audited accounts, the bank has seven subsidiaries, 150 branches with total assets of 263.5 billion naira ($1.6 billion) and total equity of 31.9 billion naira ($195.3 million), AMCON said in the notice. ($1 = 163.35 naira) (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Tim Cocks and David Evans)

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