The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that 25 companies were invited to participate in the sale process of Polaris Bank Limited by executing a confidentiality agreement.

CBN Director of Corporate Communications Osita Nwanisobi had this to say in a statement titled “Polaris Bank Sale: CBN Sets the Record Straight.”

It said CBN’s attention was drawn to a spurious, malicious and misleading online post, which made several false claims about the recent sale of the Federal Government’s stake in Polaris Bank Ltd.

Given the potentially serious implications for the stability of the bank, the financial sector and the Nigerian economy, he noted, the CBN was forced to correct these inaccuracies.

It said: “For the record, the public is referred to the October 20, 2022 statement by CBN & AMCON announcing the sale of 100 percent shares in Polaris Bank to a new lead investor, Strategic Capital Investment Limited, in which provided copious details of the process by which the sale was made.

“Contrary to the claims in the aforementioned online post, the Polaris Bank divestment was overseen by a divestment committee comprised of senior representatives from AMCON and CBN, and supported by reputable legal and financial advisors.

“In addition, the mode, process and divestiture decision received the required regulatory and board approvals. At no time did any other party make a higher purchase offer as the online post falsely claims.

“The entity in question, Fairview Acquisition Partners, had indicated its interest in acquiring two banks, including Polaris Bank, for a total sum of N1.2 billion, an indicative offer that significantly discounted the existing debt of N1.31 billion owed by Polaris. Bank to AMCON. and therefore represented a material loss for the Federal Government.

“However, along with 24 other parties, the financial advisers invited Fairview Acquisition Partners to participate in the sale process through the execution of a confidentiality agreement, the first stage of the process.”

It added that financial advisers informed the committee that Fairview Acquisition Partners failed to execute or return the NDA despite verbally confirming receipt of the agreement and after follow-up by financial advisers.

“Therefore, Fairview Acquisition Partners did not take the opportunity to update its offer by participating in the divestment process and therefore did not make a binding purchase offer for Polaris Bank,” it said.

According to him, the divestment was executed based on the relevant laws, global best practices for bank resolutions, and required regulatory approvals.

He said the committee, along with his legal and financial advisers, conducted a rigorous technical and financial evaluation of the purchase proposals, evaluating the suitability and suitability of the developers, the price of the offer received against the reserve price, the structure of financing and financial capacity, strategy and growth plans. , among others.