Written By John Mutiso 📝
A new offer for the purchase of Spire Bank has been made by a Dubai-based Singaporean fund, posing a difficult decision for the new board of Mwalimu Sacco.
This is after the SACCO was set to receive a formal buyout deal from a rival local lender this week.
The Mwalimu Sacco board received an expression of interest offer (EoI) for the purchase of the teachers’ bank on Thursday from Feonirich Investment Pte.
“Kindly accept this irrevocable EOI as our intent to negotiate in good faith for the purchase and acquisition of all shares, 100 per cent ownership, assume full control of operations and management, and injection of fresh capital for securities sustainability and potential growth of the herein mentioned commercial bank and finance business upon your agreement to the following terms,” it said in the offer letter dated April 7.
This comes ahead of a potentially binding offer from a large, profitable local bank, which reaffirmed interest in Spire Bank in a closed session with the National Assembly’s Finance Committee on Thursday.
Early last month, Mwalimu Sacco CEO Kenneth Odhiambo confirmed that they had reached an agreement with an undisclosed financial institution to buy the bank. He said that the Sacco executives were waiting for approval from Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority and the Central Bank of Kenya to close the deal.
Since the troubled bank admitted liabilities exceed assets, the board must now decide whether to accept an offer that will see the bank sold as a going concern or one that will see a local lender acquire Spire’s assets and liabilities and allow the teachers to rip up the bank’s license through liquidation at a cost of nearly Sh11 billion.
The other option is to sell Spire Bank to one of several interested parties, notably a Singaporean fund operating in Dubai.
A Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Chinese technology business that was authorised by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to purchase a local microfinance bank last year is among others that have expressed interest in the teachers’ bank.
A group of local tycoons – representing Murang’s old money and political clout – has also put forward an offer to buy the license as a going company.