American financial and investment company, Intangis Holdings has claimed that it holds evidence confirming that the liquidation of Afribank and subsequent transfer of its assets and liabilities to Mainstreet Bank by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in August 2011 is illegal.
The investment firm, which was the majority shareholder in Afribank, also alleges that AMCON, as it plans divesting from Mainstreet Bank, is omitting to make provision for certain liabilities of the bank which Intangis Holdings estimated at $1.4 billion.
Intangis Holdings stated that on July 1, 2014, it filed a claim for damages for tortious interference against AMCON in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to assert its rights.
The firm added that at the time AMCON invested in its share capital, Afribank with total assets of $3 billion was ranked 16th among West African banks according to the 2009 league table “The top 200 African banks”, published by Jeune Afrique magazine. Afribank was also listed in the Dow Jones index “Africa Titans 50.”
Lamenting that “Afribank’s shareholders and creditors, including Intangis Holdings have been stripped of their rights” senior partner of Intangis Holdings Jean Missinhoun stated that “AMCON, which was mandated to only deal with Afribank’s non–performing loans invested in its share capital, then liquidated the bank and transferred all its assets and liabilities to Mainstreet Bank, which it wholly owns.”
AMCON’s broadening of its mandate, Intangis claims, has led to the detriment of transparency and governance requirements that are essential in a global business world.
“The suspension of the ICC arbitration is a matter of procedure – Intangis Holdings has been substituting for the payment of Mainstreet Bank’s share of the advance on costs. This decision does not affect the outcome of the case. Intangis Holdings is fully focused on the action against Amcon in the Supreme Court of the State of New York,” confirmed Jean Missinhoun.
Intangis also complains that the state-owned asset manager is going against the requirements of the international accounting rules (IFRS) by moving to divest from Mainstreet bank without making provision for liabilities estimated at $1.4 billion.
The target date for the divestment of AMCON’s stake in Mainstreet Bank has been set for 15th of September 2014.
“If AMCON manages to sell Mainstreet Bank after having organised such a transaction and without ensuring proper reporting of the bank’s books, we would be dealing with a huge scandal. The banking group would be jeopardized, its customers endangered and its historic shareholders and creditors would suffer irreversible damages,”declared Jean Missinhoun.