A High Court in Accra, presided over by Mr. Justice Justin Dorgu, on Wednesday 3rd Dcember,2014 upheld an objection by lawyers for Republic Bank to a suit initiated by Messrs Kwasi Asante and Alfred Nii Boi Bortey, two shareholders of HFC Bank.
The plaintiffs were seeking orders of the court to restrain Republic Bank from making a mandatory offer to all shareholders, under the Takeover Code of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Describing the initiation of the suit as premature, the Judge ruled that the plaintiffs first had to exhaust the dispute resolution procedures prescribed by the Securities Industry Law before resorting to court action. Not having done that, it was premature to seek redress in court.
Another action initiated by two other shareholders of HFC Bank, Messrs Akwete Akita and Charles Martinson was previously also determined to be wrongly initiated in an earlier decision of another High Court judge, Mr. Justice Samuel Asiedu, on 22nd August, 2014.
Commenting after the decision of the High Court, Mr. Robert Le Hunte, Director of Africa Operations of Republic Bank, said, “we are pleased that the High Court has upheld the objection to this suit. Republic Bank is committed to complying with Ghanaian laws. The submission of our mandatory offer to all shareholders under the Takeover Code of the Securities and Exchange Commission was a requirement Republic Bank had to comply with and for which Republic Bank had the approval of the Bank of Ghana.
We assure all our stakeholders of our long-term commitment to HFC Bank and to contributing towards economic growth and development in Ghana and Africa, through our investment programmes.” He said.