Polaris to Take Over Assets, Liabilities of Skye Bank Nigeria

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s central bank has revoked the operating license of Skye Bank Plc. and established Polaris as a bridge bank to takeover its assets and liabilities.

"The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, Amcon, to capitalize the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out Amcon," Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said in an emailed statement Friday.

Trading in Skye shares will be suspended from Sept. 24, the Nigerian Stock Exchange said in a statement on its website. The central bank’s examination and forensic audit of Skye revealed that it needed urgent recapitalization and its shareholders hadn’t been unable to provide it.

The Abuja-based regulator replaced the management of Skye in July 2016 after the bank breached liquidity thresholds, spurring concerns about the health of small- and medium-sized lenders and reviving memories of government rescues after the 2009 financial crisis.

The bank’s board and management will remain because their performance has been satisfactory since they were put in place more than two years ago, according to the statement. Skye’s accounts and records will be purchased by Polaris and workers will be absorbed under a new contract.

The Nigerian banking industry “remains safe and resilient," and the central bank "will continue to live up to its responsibilities of promoting stability," the governor said.

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