Ecobank Group, at the weekend received shareholders’ approval to raise $400 million in convertible bond to boost the Group’s capital position
At the 29th yearly general meeting and extraordinary meeting, held in Lomé, shareholders of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’), the parent company of the
Ecobank Group approved the issue of up to $400 million in convertible bonds.

According to the bank, the convertible bond issue will have a maturity of five years and a coupon of 6.46 per cent above 3-month LIBOR, with an option to convert at an exercise price of 6 US cents during the conversion period.

Addressing shareholders at the event, Ecobank’s Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazaboh, explained that the bonds will be on offer to all Ecobank shareholders on identical terms shortly.He added that the proceeds have been earmarked to repay the bridging finance required to create a Resolution Vehicle to manage Ecobank’s legacy loan portfolio and optimise the maturities of the Group’s debt portfolio.

“We are delighted with the strength of the support shown for the issue by our existing shareholders, as it vindicates the vigorous action taken to address our challenged legacy assets, as well as indicating their confidence in Ecobank’s future. Nevertheless, it is a matter of great regret that the board was unable to recommend the payment of a dividend in respect of 2016.

“Ecobank’s senior management is united in its firm resolve to work urgently, yet diligently, to reinstate cash dividends as soon as ETI’s financial position permits.”

Furthermore, Ikazaboh explained that by segregating these challenged legacy assets from Ecobank Nigeria’s core assets, management will be able to focus on delivering the desired results.

He added that the strategy would also improve Ecobank Nigeria’s liquidity and help in the effective management of capital, thereby accelerating the bank’s turnover.
“This is crucial to Ecobank’s overall performance given that Nigeria account for around 40 per cent our business and assets. We now have a dedicated asset management team in place charged maximising the recovery of the outstanding loans now held by the RV.”

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ade Ayeyemi, told shareholders that despite continued macroeconomic challenges in some parts of the continent, all the businesses are making meaningful progress, with an on-going focus on cost discipline, stringent credit control and the increasing digitisation of its services to enhance delight.

He assured that the bank is proactively resolving its legacy loan issues, adding that it achieved $2 million of recoveries from the Resolution Vehicle in the first quarter of 2017. Ayeyemi expressed optimism that these positive developments will be reflected in an improved performance from Ecobank going forward.

Ecobank was incorporated in Lomé, Togo, in 198. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) the parent company of Ecobank is the leading independent pan-African banking group. It currently has a presence in 33 African countries. The Group employs over 17,500 people in 36 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices it operates.