Milost Global Incorporated, a New York-based private equity firm, says it will no longer go on with its proposed investment in Unity Bank.
The company made its decision known in a statement released by Kim Freeman, the company’s CEO, on Monday.
Unity Bank had earlier denied knowledge of the investment.
In the statement, Freeman said his company was approached in 2017 by the bank’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer.
“Following the call, a desk top due diligence was conducted by Milost to its satisfaction. On September 4, 2017 a $1billion financing term sheet was fully executed by both Milost and Unity Bank,” the statement read.
“The facility, a combo of equity and debt, was provided on the exciting understanding that Unity Bank would delist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and move its listing to the USA. The signed term sheet was approved by the board of Unity Bank.
“On Monday, October 23, 2017 at 11:05 EST, Milost Global Inc. was visited by Mrs. Oluwatomi Somefun, the CEO of Unity Bank Plc, at its New York Offices. The meeting was scheduled for 11:00am EST and it went ahead as planned.
“The meeting was attended by Milost Global Inc. analysts and the Chairman, Mr. Egerton Forster. At the meeting, she explained the need for capital funding at the bank and also their expansion plans. It was then agreed that Milost Global Inc. would start further due diligence on Unity Bank.
“It is normal practice for all the publicly quoted companies which we fund to notify the market regulator on signature of the commitment letter since it has material effect to the stock; however, Unity Bank did not. Milost assumed that this did not happen because Unity had agreed to move its listing to the USA.”
Freeman said Milost planned to acquire 60 percent stake in the bank and not 30 percent as reported.
“Soon after the story broke, Milost started receiving threatening emails from a gentleman who says he is politically connected to the powers that could shut Milost out of Nigeria if Milost didn’t terminate the Unity Bank transaction.”
Freeman said his company will continue to do business in Nigeria and will release $21 million to Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc and another $10 million to Resort Savings & Loans Plc in April.