Barely four months after it was taken over from Skye Bank, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said Polaris Bank will be put up for sale after the 2019 elections.
According to a report by Reuters, this was disclosed by Jude Nwauzor, the AMCON spokesman, on Tuesday. Speaking on plans for the sale of the bank, Nwauzor said: “The election season has slowed down things. We would advertise for expressions of interest from investors after elections and commence the sale process”.
In September 2018, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had announced the revoking of the licence of defunct Skye Bank. Polaris was established as a bridge bank to assume the assets and liabilities of the bank. Emefiele had said: “As a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), we have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank.
The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the Bridge Bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON. By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked.” He had also noted that the CBN invested about N800billion in Polaris Bank, and as such, the bank’s name had to change in order to reflect the new ownership structure.
In consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), a bridge bank Polaris was set-up for the recapitalisation, as the shareholders of Skye Bank were not able to raise the needed funds to keep the bank afloat.