Uche Usim, Abuja
Slok Nigeria Limited has denied a media report that the issued share capital of First International Bank (FIB) Group Limited has been sold by former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
A statement signed by Obinna Kalu, Legal Adviser (FIB Group Limited) said: “This is to inform the general public that the online report credited to Premium Times that a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, sold the issued share capital of his banking group- First International Bank (FIB) Group Limited, The Gambia is misleading.
“To set the records straight Slok Nigeria Limited has not sold any of its issued share capital in FIB Group Limited, The Gambia to any person or organisation.
“Be it known that Slok Nigeria Limited remains the legal/genuine owners of FIB Group Limited and its subsidiary banks.
“Recently, an illegal attempt by one Lilium Grays Limited to take over the subsidiary banks of FIB Group Limited was dismissed by the Supreme Court of The Gambia via a judgment delivered on July 30, 2019, thus reaffirming that Slok Nigeria Limited is the legal/genuine wholly owner of FIB Group Limited and its FiBank subsidiaries in Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone”.
Premium Times had reported that Kalu, sold the entire issue shared capital of his banking group, First International Banking (FIB) Group Limited in The Gambia, a report that Slok legal adviser dismissed as misleading.
According to the erroneous online report, the transaction which has never been made public, was concluded between 2015 and 2016.
The documents revealing the transaction were said to have been obtained in a leaked data by German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) from two offshore secrecy providers (Appleby and Asiaciti Trust) and 19 secrecy jurisdictions around the world.
The leaked 1.4 terabyte data, named Paradise Papers, consisting of 13.4 million records and is no doubt one of the biggest leaks in history. PREMIUM TIMES is the only Nigerian media organisation involved in that investigation.
According to one of the documents — the term sheet reflecting the terms and conditions in relation to the acquisition of shares — the bank was bought by a New York-based investment fund, Lilium Capital.
Prior to the transaction, Slok Nigeria Limited (“SLOK”) and International Insurance Company Limited (“IICL”) held 80 percent and 20 percent of the issued share capital of FIB, respectively.
Details of the term sheet showed that Lilium Capital acquired the entire issued share capital of FIB from SLOK and IICL for $10 million.
Similarly, it issued shares representing an aggregate of five percent of the issued preference share capital of the company to SLOK and IICL with the condition that the two firms and its owners will have no say in the running of the acquired banking group.
Lilium also proposed to make annual payment of USD1million to SLOK and IICL for a period of 5 years.
The term sheet revealed that the restructuring detail stipulated that shares held by the banking group in each of the insurance subsidiaries in countries it operates would be transferred to a separate entity that is not a part of the company.