The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Republic Bank Limited in an application to quash a ruling of an Accra High Court preventing it from proceeding with a mandatory offer to shareholders of HFC Bank.
The mandatory offer to the shareholders was under the ‘Takeover Code’ of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A statement by Republic Bank Limited (RBL), signed by Michelle Palmer-Keizer, General Manager, Group Marketing and Communications, and copied to the Ghana news Agency, said the ruling was held on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, by a unanimous decision.
The High Court ruling of Mr Justice Koomson had been at the instance of the HFC Bank.
The five-member Panel of Justices, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, dismissed the suit initiated by HFC Bank against Republic Bank and the SEC in an attempt to prevent Republic Bank proceedings with a mandatory offer to all shareholders of HFC Bank after Republic Bank had acquired more than 30 per cent of the shareholding of HFC Bank.
Other members of the panel were Justices Sophia Akuffo, Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Baffoe-Bonnie, and Sule Gbadegbe.
The court made an order prohibiting the High Court from proceeding any further with the suit and set aside the writ filed by HFC Bank.
Reacting to the ruling of the court, Mr Robert Le Hunte, Director of African Operations at Republic Bank, said: “Republic Bank is pleased with the ruling of the Supreme Court.
“Based on this ruling of the highest court of the land, Republic Bank will continue the process as outlined under the Takeover Code which was halted by the institution of the proceedings by HFC Bank.
“We have always acted in accordance with laws of Ghana and the regulations of the SEC and will continue to do so.”
He added: “We are looking forward to continuing to contribute significantly to the economic growth of HFC Bank, Ghana and Africa in the coming years. We assure our stakeholders of our long-term commitment and dedication to achieving success”.
After Republic Bank acquired over 30 per cent stake in HFC Bank, it was required by the Takeover Code of the Securities and Exchange Commission to make a mandatory offer to all the shareholders of HFC.
The management of HFC initiated an action in the High Court to prevent the process of the mandatory offer from going ahead.
Two other court cases initiated by some shareholders of HFC also sought to restrain Republic Bank from making a mandatory offer to all shareholders under the ‘Takeover Code’ of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In both those cases, the courts upheld objections by lawyers for Republic Bank and decided against the attempt by the plaintiffs to have the courts restrain Republic Bank from proceeding with the mandatory offer to shareholders.
Republic Bank Limited is one of the largest and most successful independent commercial banks in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Republic Bank has served retail-banking customers, corporate clients and governments throughout the region for 175 years.
Today, the Republic Bank Group employs over 4,300 people in 71 branches throughout Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, the Cayman Islands and Barbados.
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