Access Bank Determined to Expand Footprint in Kenya Despite Setback in Sidian Bank Acquisition

January 16, 2023
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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A top financial institution in Nigeria, Access Bank Plc, has reassured stakeholders that it would continue to explore ways to expand its footprint in Kenya despite its inability to complete the merger with Sidian Bank in Kenya.

Last week, Business Post reported that the largest lender in sub-Saharan Africa pulled out of the deal after both parties could not iron out some issues regarding the acquisition.

Access Bank was planning to acquire the entire 83.4 per cent shareholding held by an investment company, Centum, in Sidian Bank Limited.

“Although regulators have all been supportive in engagements around the transaction, certain conditions precedent, including those required of Sidian Bank, which were needed to prudently complete the transaction have not been met, and the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the variation of these conditions in a manner to deliver the desired outcome for the parties.

“Consequently, we hereby notify the Nigerian Exchange Ltd and the investing public that the Sidian acquisition will no longer be completed by the bank,” a notice to the NGX by Access Holdings Plc, the parent firm of Access Bank, had stated last week.

But despite the setback in the transaction, the lender emphasised that it would not affect its drive to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services in the East African Community (EAC) and broader COMESA region as it works towards its vision to be Africa’s gateway to the world.

“The bank remains committed to growing its franchise in a safe and sound manner in Kenya and the broader East African Community and will continue to explore a variety of organic and inorganic opportunities to grow its market share therein,” the statement, signed by Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary of Access Holdings PLC, read.

Recall that Access Bank already made a strategic entry into the highly-competitive Kenyan financial ecosystem through the acquisition of Transnational Bank Plc of Kenya (now Access Bank Kenya) in 2020.

Another notable strategic expansion executed by Access Bank in recent years was the acquisition of the defunct Diamond Bank Plc in 2018, a process completed in 2019. In 2021 the bank announced the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited and merged its existing operations in Zambia following the acquisition

It also completed the acquisition of Grobank of South Africa in 2021, and in the same year, completed the acquisition of about 78.15 per cent holding in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited.

Access Bank’s expansion drive promises great value for stakeholders and presents enormous opportunities to support the growth of the trade and payment ecosystem.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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