Templars has advised leading Nigerian commercial bank Diamond Bank plc on the sale of its 97.07% equity stake in its West African subsidiary, Diamond Bank S.A.

The transaction, which is valued at €61 million, sees Diamond Bank agreeing to sell its operations in four major Francophone West African countries, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo to Manzi Finances S.A., a Cote d’Ivoire-based financial services holding company.

According to a regulatory disclosure made to the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the bank in early November, the sale was in furtherance of the bank’s strategic decision to focus on Nigerian retail banking with a view to becoming the fastest growing and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria.

With regulatory approvals obtained in all relevant jurisdictions, it remains for the parties to work together to achieve the last few conditions to the completion of the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement.

The Templars team on the transaction was led by Chike Obianwu who was assisted by Seeke Atitebi, Bernard Ehigiamusor and Promise Madubuobu. The team received regional legal support from the Abidjan-based firm of Bile-Aka, Brizoua-Bi & Associes.

“We are very pleased to have gone on this successful journey with Diamond Bank. It has been a painstaking process negotiating and coordinating this very critical transaction across very differing legal systems and regulatory regimes; leading bilingual teams of lawyers in different countries and working successfully to meet the requirements of a supranational banking regulator as well as various national authorities in Nigeria and in the Republic of Benin …”, said Chike Obianwu who has also previously led another Templars team in advising the Nigerian lender, First City Monument Bank in the sale of its majority equity stake in the Gambian bank, Arab Gambian Islamic Bank Limited.