BOG approves Sahel Sahara and Omni bank merger

The Bank of Ghana has approved the proposal by Sahel Sahara and Omni Bank to consolidate their operations into one entity to help meet the new minimum capital requirement of GHS400 million.

The approval was communicated to the two banks on August 14, paving the way for the board and management of Sahel Sahara Bank and Omni Bank to announce their merger deal later this month.

According to Sources, the boards of the two banks had been locked in meetings to finalise the plan and allow for actual integration of their respective operations to start.

While Omni Bank is owned by Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong and his wife, Sahel Bank is owned by 13 Sahelian countries and has been operating in the country since March 2009.

Sahel Sahara’s merger with Omni follows its decision to exit an earlier merger deal with GN Bank and Premium Bank.

Reason for merger

The consolidation of the two banks is to create a stronger bank that can meet the BoG’s new minimum capital requirement of GHS400 million by December this year.

Discussions on a merger between the two banks started in July this year but firmed up towards the end of that month.

Consequently, a presentation on the merger was made to some staff of the Banking Supervision Department in the week ending August 10.

One source said the central bank gave a ‘no objection’ response to the merger presentation.

Although all parties are respecting confidential clauses, the paper further understands that BoG’s approval will be communicated to the management of Omni Bank and Sahel Sahara Bank in writing this week.

This will set in motion the actual process of integrating the operations of the two banks into one, ostensibly to meet the BoG’s new minimum capital demand of GH¢400 million by December this year.

Transaction advisors

The deal is being overseen by Bora Advisory Services, an indigenous financial service advisory firm.

It is understood that a new name for the merged entity is still being discussed.

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