Ecobank to Launch Africa’s Largest Public Offering Today

Monday, August 25, 2008
Ecobank’s US$2.5bn combined Rights Issue and Public Offer, to be launched today, Monday 25th August 2008, has been described as not just the largest on the continent but the first simultaneous cross-border public offering in Africa. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is listed on the Abidjan’s Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières, on the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra and the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos.

From August 25th, 2008, 3,763,759,981 shares will be offered exclusively to ETI’s existing shareholders at US$0.27 a share (at a ratio of five new shares for every nine held as at August 18th2008); while 5,116,499,328 shares will be offered to the public at US$0.29 a share. The Rights Issue and the Public Offer are being undertaken at discounts of 20.0% to shareholders and 12.5% to the public (based on 30-day volume weighted average price of ETI shares on all three stock markets.)

Approvals for the registration and listing of the new shares have been obtained from the relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria, Ghana and the Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA).

Ecobank Nigeria plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank plc and ICMG Securities Ltd. are Joint Issuing Houses in Nigeria, EDC Stockbrokers Ltd. and SIC Financial Services Ltd are the Sponsoring Stockbrokers in Ghana and EDC Investment Corporation and CGF Bourse are the Sponsoring Stockbrokers in the Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA).

Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) and First Africa SA (Pty) Ltd are financial advisers to the combined Rights Issue and Public Offer.

The chairman of ETI, Mandé Sidibe, said that the proceeds of the Rights Issue and Public Offer would be utilised to strengthen Ecobank’s growth plans to expand its network of branches in the countries where it currently operates as well as expand into new countries thereby consolidating its position as the leading pan-African banking group. The increased capital will also help upgrade as well as modernise the group’s technology platform.

ETI group’s chief executive, Arnold Ekpe, said that he expected good shareholder and investor response to the combined Rights Issue and Public Offer across the three stock markets, as investors are well aware of ETI’s strong fundamentals. ETI recently completed a non-deal road show which involved over 70 meetings with institutional investors in 18 cities across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The feedback from the investors was extremely positive.

ETI is the holding company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent regional banking group in sub-Saharan Africa with a presence in more African countries than any other bank. Currently operating in 25 countries, ETI was established as a regional bank holding company in 1985 with its head office in Lomé, Togo. It has grown to a full–service regional banking group with over 500 branches and offices and over 10,000 employees in West, Central, East and Southern Africa.

ETI’s expansion plan includes the opening of new subsidiaries and branches in other countries in Middle Africa as well as representative offices and international banking facilities in the major financial centres that have substantial trading and transaction links with Africa including London, Paris, Dubai and Beijing.