Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) – one of the
nine lenders bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in
2009 – has been acquired by Sterling Bank.

ETB was one of four Nigerian lenders – the
others being Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB – ordered by the
CBN to find a merging partners, having failed to attract sufficient
capital to remain independent.

At the start of August, Afribank, Spring
Bank and Bank PHB ran out of time; the lenders were liquidated and
have since been rebranded as Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and
Keystone Bank, respectively.

The newly merged Sterling/ETB will result
in a lender with deposits of over NGN360bn ($2.3bn), assets of
NGN550bn and a branch network of around 185 outlets.

The Sterling/ETB merger is the fifth such
deal in Nigeria in the past month.

Other deals include:

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  • First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has
    agreed a deal with the CBN to acquire Finbank. The newly enlarged
    FCMB will have a branch network of around 300 outlets once it
    acquires Finbank’s 168 branch network;
  • The late July deal for the 300-branch
    bailed-out Intercontinental Bank to merge with the
    110-branch-strong Access Bank;
  • Ecobank ‘s deal to acquire the failed
    Oceanic Bank; the latter has a branch network of 376 outlets. A
    combination of Ecobank Nigeria and Oceanic Bank will form a top 5
    Nigerian lender, and
  • Union Bank of Nigeria successfully raised
    fresh capital, around $750m, from private equity firm African
    Capital Alliance.