nationalised lender, Keystone Bank, has sold its Ugandan unit in a broader move that will see it ultimately relinquish assets three African states including Liberia and Sierra Leone. This divestment, it believes, will enhance its financial standing and return the bank to profitability when acquired by investors.
The Ugandan asset, Uganda Orient Bank, was acquired by Bob Geldof’s 8 Miles fund, an Africa focused private equity fund according to a statement by Keystone’s Head of Brand and Communications, Omobolanle Osotule.
Since Nigeria moved to reposition its banking sector in August 2011, by announcing a nationalisation scheme for three ailing banks, the assets of Keystone, Mainstreet and Enterprise Banks have all been under the control of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Both Enterprise and Mainstreet have been sold over the last year to Heritage Bank and Skye Bank respectively, and the management company is keen to offload Keystone soon.
“We chose to start in the second quarter to allow for elections to come and go,” Mustafa Chike-Obi, chief executive officer of state-owned AMCON, told Bloomberg by phone on January. “By that time everything has returned to normal. “The sale will be transparent and AMCON will call for bids with a selection process lasting three to four months and ending this year, Chike-Obi said.