Business News of 2013-12-05

Sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz not yet done - BoG

The Bank of Ghana says it is yet to give its final approval to Fortiz’s takeover of Merchant Bank.

Joy Business' sources at the Central Bank say the regulator would give its full endorsement after reviewing the reponses to all the conditions set out for Fortiz, which the private equity fund said it has met.

The private equity fund announced through a press statement issued Wednesday and signed by unnamed directors that it had finally met all requirements by the Central Bank and was in the process of taking over the bank.

A source close to Fortiz confirmed to Joy Business that since they have meet all the conditions stated in the provisional approval, they are mandated to fully takeover Merchant Bank.

Fortiz made the claim despite a court suit by the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy seeking a perpetual injunction on the controversial transaction.

Thirteen entities have been cited as defendants in the suit.

“Fortiz has met the requisite and immediate conditions set by the Bank of Ghana and wish to thank the hard working management and staff of Merchant Bank for their support through this process,” the statement said.

But lawyers for the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy have challenged the claim by Fortiz.

Kofi Bentil Counsel for the Centre told Joy Business the statement is in “bad taste” and described it as being in “error, prejudicial and contempt of the court of Ghana”.

Meanwhile, Fortiz on Thursday defended its acquisition of Merchant Bank at the Commercial court. Its lawyer, Tony Lithur asked the court to strike out the case, arguing that the Executive Director of the Centre, Mr. Andrew Awuni, who filed the suit does not have the locus to bring the case before the court.

Fortiz is purchasing 90 percent shares in Merchant Bank for 90 million Ghana cedis