Nigeria's AMCON seeks Enterprise Bank sale by end-May

Chijioke Ohuocha

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria's state-owned rescue bank AMCON said on Thursday that 18 bidders had submitted offers for the sale of its 100 percent stake in nationalised lender Enterprise Bank.

Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) CEO Mustapha Chike-Obi told Reuters foreign and local investors were in the mix of bidders. He hoped to conclude the deal by the end of May.

AMCON was set up in 2010 to help resolve a banking crisis in Nigeria, triggered by reckless lending and a stock market collapse in 2008, prompting the central bank to spend $4 billion rescuing nine lenders from near bankruptcy.

AMCON issued 4 trillion naira worth of bonds in 2011 to recapitalise the banks and soak up their bad-debts. Chike-Obi said the "bad bank" retired 1.699 trillion naira worth of bonds in December 2013 with 3.8 trillion naira held by the central bank.

He said AMCON would retire the remaining 800 billion naira worth of bonds in October from its own cash flows.

Chike-Obi said he would seek advisers for share sale in another nationalised lender Mainstreet Bank within the next seven days and that AMCON planned to complete that deal by the end of September.

"We received 24 expressions of interest ... of which 18 have submitted non-binding offers," Chike-Obi said.

Citi and Nigeria's investment firm Vetiva Capital are advising on the sale of Enterprise Bank. Chike-Obi said he would seek for new advisers for Mainstreet Bank.