Today the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has invited investors (PDF) in an expression of interest (EOI) offer to buy into Imperial Bank, in a move that echoes another ongoing one at Chase Bank.
Imperial, Kenya’s 18th largest bank, was shut in October 2015 following revelations that only emerged after the sudden death the sudden death of Imperial’s group managing director (GMD), Abdulamek Janmohamed, in September 2015. The bank had assets of Kshs 56 billion and officially had about Kshs 47 billion of depositor funds as at December 2014.
Since the closure, thousands of small depositors have been paid off the but many wealthy depositors including the elderly, Italians and Asians families and business people still have tens of millions of shillings in deposits there – funds that they had placed for the high returns offered at the previously solid (apparently), fast-growing, business-friendly, and award-winning bank.
It appeared that the bank was headed for liquidation, but for a sudden change of plan and decision to salvage Imperial Bank three months ago. A new timetable was posted and the CBK Governor met depositors of the bank to reassure them of the new process, and they have been keeping track since.
The deadline for the EOI is September 29, three weeks away, after which short-listed investors will be invited to see confidential data on the bank. This is despite a long forensic audit and data mining process that was started after the GMD died, some results of which have been cited in court documents and media reports – and which paint a shocking picture about the tenure of Janmohamed and oversight by regulators at the CBK.
Proposals from the short-listed investors are expected in January 2018 for further discussions with a single preferred bidder in February along with other consultations with the shareholders, depositors, and creditors of Imperial Bank.
KPMG has been appointed as a transaction advisor for the Imperial Bank EOI as they also are in the Chase Bank one.