Unity Bank Plc on Thursday said that the bank has not signed a 60 per cent holding structure or a one billion dollars investment with Milost Global Incorporated, a New York-based private equity firm.
The bank, in a statement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) web site, assured shareholders and stakeholders that it had no agreement whatsoever with Milost Global alluding to 60 per cent of Unity Bank’s shareholding.
The statement said that the bank did not at any time suggest or agree to move its listing from the NSE to the US, as falsely reported in the media.
“Milost Global Inc. is one of the prospective investors introduced to the bank by a local entity called Mayo BV.
“It is not unusual that this introduction and expression of interests would involve some level of preliminary discussions and exchange of non-binding documentary communication between the intending parties towards establishing mutual foundation on which the transaction contemplated would be initiated.
The “Term Sheet” dated Sept. 4, 2017 said to have been executed was a “proposal” submitted by Milost Global Inc. “for discussion purposes only and NOT a commitment” by the parties.
“No definitive documentation governing the proposed financing was executed,” it said.
The statement said that there was no iota of truth in the allegation that the bank had executed a “binding commitment agreement”.
“The bank’s position is on the premise that a document prepared by Milost, which the bank acknowledged, merely contained the suggested terms and conditions on which Milost was planning to consider its possible participation in the capital funding of the bank,” it added.
The statement explained that the bank, through the mandate of its board and shareholders, had been involved in a series of preliminary engagements with several prospective investors, including Milost, and did not execute a binding definitive agreement with Milost Global Inc.
It is, therefore, a misnomer for anyone to claim that the bank issued a false statement relative to the nature of the communication between Milost and the bank.
“The nomenclature “Commitment Letter” was apparently adopted by Milost in its communication to buttress its seriousness to proceed with the transactions, subject to relevant compliance requirements.
As regards threat mails allegedly received by Milost Global, the Bank reaffirms its position that such mails did not emanate from it. The Bank, therefore, is unable to verify such allegation,” the statement said.
The bank said that the issue of “termination of the transaction” does not, therefore, arise, considering that Milost and the bank were only still engaged in preliminary discussions, which must necessarily be subjected to relevant regulatory, statutory and corporate governance compliance parameters.
It was reported that Milost Global Incorporated, a New York-based private equity firm, on March 26 said it would no longer go on with its proposed investment in Unity Bank.
The company stated this in a statement released by Mr Kim Freeman, Milost Chief Executive Officer.
In the statement, Freeman said his company was approached in 2017 by the bank’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer.
“Following the call, a desk top due diligence was conducted by Milost to its satisfaction. On September 4, 2017 a $1billion financing term sheet was fully executed by both Milost and Unity Bank,” the statement read.
“The facility, a combo of equity and debt, was provided on the exciting understanding that Unity Bank would delist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and move its listing to the US.
“The signed term sheet was approved by the board of Unity Bank,” it added.