Diamond Bank sells UK subsidiary to industrialist Sanjeev Gupta
Nigeria’s Diamond Bank is selling its UK subsidiary to Sanjeev Gupta, a UK industrialist and owner of GFG Alliance group and Wyelands Bank.
Central Bank of Nigeria of Nigeria has approved the transaction, so it is now up to the UK regulators to give it the green light.
“The proposed acquisition is part of Gupta’s strategy to expand further the financial services activities of the GFG Alliance, alongside its other business pillars of metals, industrials, power generation, infrastructure and property,” GFG Alliance says.
“His decision to make a further investment in banking follows his initial successful period of ownership of Wyelands Bank, which he acquired in 2016.”
Gupta has identified significant gaps in bank and non-bank funding available for trade, commodity and supply-chain finance in the Commonwealth countries. This is what Diamond Bank – to be renamed as British Commonwealth Trade Bank (BCTB) once the acquisition is completed – aims to address.
BCTB will be separately capitalised and independently governed and managed.
“Finance is the life blood of our economy,” Gupta states. “GFG companies have a long history in trade with the Commonwealth and we hope to use both what we’ve learned and our worldwide contacts to help design a British bank focused on helping UK companies to access exciting new opportunities.
“Britain is a nation of traders, and, with our government’s new focus on international trade, we hope to play a key role in connecting UK businesses to customers and opportunities across the world, especially in the developing Commonwealth markets, where Britain has a long and rich history.”
“Post Brexit, there will be a heightened need to provide competitive financing to British companies in the commodities and industrial sectors as they seek to grow in new markets globally. BCTB will aim to be the ‘bridge’ between borrowers and lenders for trade with these markets.”
GFG Alliance is a London-headquartered international group of businesses, founded and owned by the British Gupta Family, with revenues of over $12 billion and over 12,500 staff. GFG combines renewable energy generation, recycling, metal manufacturing, engineering, mining, property, and banking, working together to deliver a common business strategy.
Besides the aforementioned Wyelands Bank, GFG comprises Liberty (metals and industrials), Simec (energy, mining and infrastructure), Jahama (global property development), and GFG Foundation, which focuses on the retention and creation of engineering and industrial skills.