May 30, 2013 / 2:51 PM / 5 years ago

Nigeria's AMCON seeks advisers for bank sales - CEO

* FirstRand, Skye Bank eye nationalised banks

* AMCON yet to decide how to proceed with sales

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, May 30 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s “bad bank” AMCON will appoint financial advisers by June 15 to manage the sale of three lenders that were nationalised in 2011 and recapitalised, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Nigeria nationalised the lenders when they failed to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline. It changed their names to Mainstreet Bank from Afribank, Enterprise Bank from Spring Bank and Keystone Bank from Bank PHB.

AMCON plans to sell 100 percent of each but has yet to decide on the best way to proceed.

“We have advertised for a financial adviser who will take charge of the process,” said Mustapha Chike-Obi, the CEO of state-owned AMCON. He said the advisers would solicit expressions of interest from prospective investors.

Chike-Obi said he expected strong interest in the three banks from local and foreign institutions. He pointed out that South Africa’s number-two lender, FirstRand, had informed AMCON of an interest in acquiring Keystone bank.

FirstRand CEO Sizwe Nxasana told Reuters last week that the South African lender was keen on buying either Keystone or Mainstreet.

Nigeria’s Skye Bank will bid for one of the three banks, depending on valuations, its CEO Kehinde Durosimi-Etti told a shareholder meeting last week, where management sought approval to raise 50 billion naira.

AMCON said last week it expected to complete the sales by the third quarter of 2014. (Editing by Tim Cocks and Tom Pfeiffer)

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