SEC probes $1bn Milost Global investment in Unity Bank

Posted by News Express | 23 May 2018 | 1,178 times

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday said it was investigating the $1 billion alleged investment in Unity Bank Plc by Milost Global Incorporated.

Efe Ebelo, SEC’s Acting Head, Corporate Communications, who confirmed this in Lagos said the investigation into the Unity Bank/Milost case was still on, and that anyone found wanting would be sanctioned appropriately in line with laid down regulations.
She, however, assured the investing public that the Commission would not relent in its efforts to protect their interest.

Milost Global Incorporated, the New York-based private equity firm, on March 26 pulled out of its proposed investment in Unity Bank over some new revelations about the bank. The company said in a statement issued by Kim Freeman, Milost’s Chief Executive Officer that it was approached in 2017 by the bank’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

“Following the call, a desktop due diligence was conducted by Milost to its satisfaction following which a N1 billion financing term sheet was fully executed by both Milost and Unity Bank,” the statement read.

“The facility, a combination of equity and debt, was provided on the exciting understanding that Unity Bank would delist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and move its listing to the USA.

“The signed term sheet was approved by the board of Unity Bank,” it said.

But Unity Bank on March 29 denied reports that the bank had signed 60 per cent holding structure or $1 billion investment with Milost.
The bank, in a statement on the NSE website, assured shareholders and stakeholders that there was no agreement whatsoever with Milost Global alluding to 60 per cent of Unity Bank shareholding.

The statement said the bank did not at any time suggest or agree to move its listing from NSE to the US.
“Milost Global Incorporated 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 communications between the intending parties,” it said.

According to the statement, the term sheet dated September 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.
But according to SEC the ongoing probe will bring up the truth and sanctions will be meted out to any defaulting party. (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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