BUYOUT

American firm to refine offer for Imperial Bank's assets

In Summary
  • The firm termed two reasons given by KDIC in its rejection letter as insincere, wondering why the Kenya's depositors body took six weeks to respond to the offer
  • KDIC has promised to issue a response on allegations raised by the firm
Imperial Bank depositors hold placards outside the Westlands branch. /ENOS TECHE
Imperial Bank depositors hold placards outside the Westlands branch. /ENOS TECHE

A Canadian subsidiary of the US investment firm Amassment Corporation has hinted at making a second attempt at acquiring  the assets of the defunct Imperial Bank.

In a letter seen by the Star, the Toronto based firm says the Kenya Depositors Insurance Corporation (KDIC) unfairly rejected its initial offer, adding that it is ready to lower KDIC's contribution.

 
 

''I am sure you can appreciate that we are highly disappointed that our offer was rejected after waiting six weeks from when we submitted the offer – without any attempt of dialogue or interaction,'' Amassment Corporation CEO Randy Sidhu said.

He added that the two reasons for declining the offer which were baseless and not verifiable.

The frim has also threatened to sue KDIC for demeaning it in media. It has asked the Kenyan depositors' body to publish apologies in the Star and Standard Newspapers.

In its rejection,  KDIC stated that as per the KDI Act 2012, only institutions licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya can acquire assets and deposit liabilities and that it does not have the powers to contribute capital into the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

KDIC has promised to issue a response on allegations raised by the firm.

In the initial offer, Amassment sought to assume all remaining Imperial Bank deposits amounting to Sh49.03 billion, with an equal face-value amount of loan assets including 50 per cent of the current loans in litigation.

KCB Group which won the bid for the IBL in December last year, setting stage for partial takeover has since announced that it won't be buying all assets.

The lender was put under receivership in 2015 after it emerged that it was operating two sets of books, with a potential fraud of h46 billion, putting depositors' funds at risk.

Amassment requested KDIC to contribute cash capital of 20 per cent of what it owes to remaining depositors into the special purpose firm , in order to partially compensate for value declines sustained by loan assets, litigation costs, as well as losses from non-performing loans that the new firm will assume.

 

The transaction was to be a debt-for-equity swap with the new company issuing uncertified shares for 100 per cent full face value to depositors, giving them full recovery of 100 cents on the shilling for their deposit amounts, which would be fully backed by an equal face value of Imperial Bank assets.

It was also to pick select employees of the defunct Imperial Bank to work in the newly set up recovery firm where they were to oversee the performing assets and manage recoveries of non-performing loans.

A significant portion of Imperial Bank’s assets and liabilities are tied up in lawsuits and will remain with the KDIC.