A recent publication by Nairametrics.com on November 22nd, 2021 came with a headline- Why Innoson can’t takeover GT Bank written by Analyst Nairametrics. The publication seems to be a rejoinder from a Statement made by Innoson in a chat with a selection of media and financial reporters at his home in Nnewi where he stated that he may takeover GTB and manage it well. This remark was widely published across different news medium.
However, in what seems like a rejoinder published by Nairametrics with a headline- Why Innoson can’t takeover GT Bank. It assumed the followings analysis;
· “Assuming the claims as depicted by Innocent Chukwuma does crystallize, all GTB will need to do is enter a payment plan for the loan which will allow it to repay its profits over a protracted period’.
· “It could also call on its existing shareholders to embark on a rights issue or public offer or even seek external funding to raise money to repay the loan”.
· “Judgment debts are also carried out with the interest of the public at the center of decision-making. GTB is a quoted company with over 327k shareholders of the bank. We don’t see how investments of thousands of people will be eroded on the back of a judgment debt”.
· “The Central Bank will as expected have the ultimate say on who owns the bank. CBN approves ownership of banks especially for takeovers and it is unlikely that the apex bank will allow judgment debts to determine who owns a bank or not. Worst case, the CBN will bail out the bank and retain shareholdings rather than hand it over to Mr. Innoson if it doesn’t want to”.
Why it is not my intention to join words with some analysts on the view that Innoson cannot take over GTB, I want to state categorically clear that Innoson is running out of patience where he is waiting for GTB/GTHCO to come up with a payment plan to offset its judgment debt of over N33B.
Recall that GTB had earlier deposed to an affidavit in the court that its banking operation will be seriously and adversely affected, and also its capital base eroded if it complies with the order of the court. Therefore if GTB feels that its banking operation will be seriously and adversely affected, and also its capital base eroded if it complies with the order of the court, then GTB should as a matter of utmost urgency convert the said sum into shares and allot same to Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
Failure to do so will leave Innoson with no option than to proceed to court to obtain an order of the court to convert its judgment debt into GTB/GTHCO shares and when this happen, Innoson Nig Ltd will control the highest equity shares of the bank leaving him with no option to take over the bank.
I am aware that the current highest equity shareholder of GTB is First Sentier Investors (UK) IM Ltd with an equity share units of 369,651,392 valued at around N10 Billion. If the GTB judgment debt now at over N33B is converted into shares, Innoson Nig Ltd will have an equity value of over 1 Billion Naira making him the largest shareholder of the bank.
Therefore it is in the best interest of GTB/GTHCO to urgently comply with the decision of the Supreme Court dismissing its appeal and affirming the concurrent judgment of Court of Appeal, Ibadan division and Federal High Court Ibadan which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee Order Absolute to pay Innoson Nigeria Ltd its judgment debt or hence Innoson will have no option to commence serious move to take over the bank.